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"Signs and Wonders - He Tohu He Ohorere"
2003-12-17 until 2004-09-30
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
NZ New Zealand (Aotearoa)
Signs and Wonders | He Tohu He Ohorere explores how people express spiritual beliefs and supernatural experiences in visual culture. This major art exhibition contains over 160 works from Te Papa’s collection and is presented as a rich and powerful narrative. Beginning with an exploration of light and colour, the exhibition moves into a symbolic world of prophesies, visitations and annunciations, and from there to art works reflecting creation and birth, the apocalypse, death, and afterlife.
Some of Te Papa’s greatest treasures are included: sacred images by European masters such as Dürer, Rembrandt, Cantarini, Blake, Rouault, Matisse, Masson, and Rosetti; and iconic works of art by major New Zealand artists such as Colin McCahon, Rita Angus, Ralph Hotere, Robyn Kahukiwa, Julia Morison, Bill Culbert, Milan Mrkusich, Gretchen Albrecht, Alexis Hunter, Ani O’Neill, Anne Noble, Robin White, and John Pule.
Taonga of immense power and significance such as the great mere pounamu (greenstone weapons) Kauwhata and Wehiwehi of Waikato, a chalice (1878) carved by the tohunga whakairo (master carver) Anaha Te Rahui of Ngäti Tarawhai to celebrate peace between peoples.
Also included are sacred objects such as a mediaeval French embroidered crucifix, and an eleventh century Indian granite Ganesh statue.
During the New Zealand International Arts Festival the exhibition will be supported by a lecture series called ‘Art & Belief’ in Soundings Theatre, Te Papa, 2 – 17 March 2004. Artists will talk about how their own world views and cultural beliefs have influenced their art. In addition, poetry readings will take place in the exhibition gallery during Festival Writers and Readers week.
Signs and Wonders | He Tohu He Ohorere is a major exhibition on themes that touch all people’s lives. Don’t miss this exhibition that features many of New Zealand’s greatest artists, sacred and powerful taonga, and overseas masters.
Comet over Mt Taranaki and Parihaka 1972.
By Ralph Hotere.
Reproduced courtesy of Ralph Hotere.