Summer is the perfect time to sit back with a book. That’s the theory anyway, assuming life allows you the luxury. But what to read, and where to start? Stand by for some great recommendations…
The Art of the Heist
In early August of 1977, two students from the University of Canterbury School of Art walked into the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, took a painting off the wall, and walked out the front door. After lunch, the director Brian Muir noticed a 7 by 9 inch painting was missing.
Exquisite Treasure Revealed
Canterbury Museum holds two albums compiled by Diamond Harbour artist Margaret Stoddart. The older of the two, containing images featured in this Bulletin, and itself currently exhibited in the Gallery, covers the period 1886–96. The album is handsomely bound in maroon, and stamped M.O.S. in gold. It contains a sort of travelogue by way of black and white photographs set amongst decorative painting, mostly of native flora, with some locality and date information.
Sparks that fly upwards
Curator Felicity Milburn remembers five years and 101 installations in a gallery without walls.
Dancing on shifting ground
Sophie McKinnon explores art, resilience, change and urban regeneration in China.
In the winter of 2006 I found myself traipsing around the 798 art district in Beijing, in search of someone to talk to about factories morphing into gallery spaces. I was fascinated by the story of a defunct industrial district turned rapidly expanding contemporary art zone. 798 had been the unofficial site of regeneration for Beijing’s art community since 2001. This community had spent over two deca+des plagued by isolation and displacement but seemed finally to be finding a home.
Twenty days in China and Japan
After ten days in China—where we visited an artist’s studio in a half-empty compound of 140 multi-storey buildings, a private museum of antiquities in a sky-scraper and a tiny artist-run space in a hutong (alleyway), and met writers and curators and art dealers and collectors all over Shanghai and Beijing, with a side trip to Nanjing—I wrote an anguished note to myself: how will I write an article about all this that’s not just a list?
Regional revitalization with art
Rei Maeda, coordinator of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, writes on art’s contribution to the regeneration of a remote rural area of Japan.
A gymnasium for the mind
Who would have thought New Zealand's first dating game, Computa-Pal, was a fundraising idea to support the visual arts? Ahead of its time, the project demonstrated the kind of creative thinking that eventually led to the development of the Chartwell Collection of contemporary New Zealand and Australian art.
It is in that inch that we all live
‘People do get attached to works of art; perhaps even unreasonably attached.' When Dr Peter Gough began at the University of Canterbury as Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1980 he may not have predicted that thirteen years later he would be called on to assuage an inter- departmental stoush—Chemistry vs. History—over a hotly contested Peter Ransom drawing.
Reflections on riches
While the Gallery may be closed, our archive collections continue to develop. As I write, three aspects of managing an archive are happening simultaneously. We are adding new material, cataloguing it, and assisting a researcher to use the archive. All the challenges and pleasures of archive management are on the table.