Celebrating the gift of art

Invercargill Public Art Gallery assistant project registrar Loren Baxter (left) and manager/curator Sarah Brown hang Clive Humphreys' mixed media artwork Uncurled, which was gifted to the gallery's collection by Paul Clark, of Zookeepers Cafe, in 1995.

AN exhibition celebrating the act of giving is on now at the Invercargill Public Art Gallery (IPAG).

Gifted: Works from the Collection features 33 of the many artworks which have been gifted to the IPAG since its formal inception in 1951.

Manager/curator Sarah Brown said the artwork on show had been chosen to show the diversity in the collection.

Many items were gifted by the artists themselves, usually following an exhibition, and private donors or businesses who had a relationship with the gallery, or wanted to commemorate a person or event, she said.

An example was a watercolour painting of Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, by John Gully, which was gifted to the people of Southland by NZ Aluminum Smelters Ltd, to mark the end of their first decade of operations at Tiwai Point.

“It’s quite cool to show the different reasons why people gift.”

Gifting artworks not only helped IPAG grow its collection, she said, “but it also helps create an awesome legacy for the people of Southland”.

Along with paintings were a few 3D works, including a platter, bowl and a writing case and envelope box/trinket case set.

Brown said collection-based exhibitions had been popular with the public, and members of the community may be able to help gallery staff find out more about the history of the items.

“We’re hoping to get people coming in and recognising works that people they know have donated or gifted and telling us more about them.”

A Creation Station had also been set up to complement the exhibition. Brown said they had created cutouts of children’s figures in different poses, and Creation Station participants were invited to draw themselves on the figures.

“Once it’s all done we’re going to make a large framed collage and gift that to the children’s ward at Southland Hospital.

“We’re trying to carry on that theme of gifting in the community.”

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