The Makers of Modern New Zealand 1930-1990
Exhibition at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery
Shed 11 Wellington Waterfront
24 November 2011 – 12 February 2012
Sofia Minson was commissioned by the New Zealand Portrait Gallery to paint pioneering social anthropologist Dame Joan Metge for their November 2011 exhibition "The Makers of Modern New Zealand 1930-1990". Although Metge is not of Maori decent, due to her life's work and connection with Maori, Minson considers the painting to be part of her Contemporary Maori Portrait Series.
In an exhibition that might raise as many questions as it provides answers, Brian Easton, curator of The Makers of Modern NZ exhibition at the NZ Portrait Gallery, welcomes the element of debate that could emerge from his choice of subjects.
Dr Easton, economist, writer (author of The Nationbuilders) and social commentator, confronted the monumental task of selecting portraits of sixty New Zealanders who reflect the development of the nation from 1930-1990.
Portraits of key figures in commerce, politics, education, law, and the arts are represented. But so too are portraits of lesser known but significant people who symbolise important elements of the period, such as the increasing importance of Maori and women in our public life. “Viewed collectively and usually chronologically, the portraits tell their own story about the development of the nation over the turbulent and transformational 60 years.
“There may be many surprises about who is represented, as well as those who are not- this is not a parade of ‘celebrities’. Rather it is of New Zealanders who have made a major and long- lasting contribution to New Zealand’s development and whose contributions and achievements illustrate exceptional forces for change over the years represented in the exhibition” Easton said.
Click play button to listen to Radio NZ interview with Brian Easton on Minson's Dame Joan Metge painting...
Photos from opening night
http://sofiaminson.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/jock-phillips-te-ara-opens-exhibition.jpg #caption#Jock Phillips, senior editor of NZ online encyclopedia Te Ara, opens the exhibition http://sofiaminson.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/helen-sutch-artist-tim-bollinger.jpg #caption#Helen Sutch, daughter of Bill Sutch with artist Tim Bollinger
#caption#Jock Phillips (left) talks to longtime friend of the Gallery, Bill Buxton. Jock Phillips is senior editor of NZ online encyclopedia Te Ara. Paintings behind them are Josef Babich (left) and Alison Holst (right)
#caption#Curator Brian Easton speaks.
Dr Easton is an economist, writer and social commentator.
#caption#Three bronzes: from left to right, Norman Kirk, Clarence Beeby and Bruce Mason. Behind them artists Freeman White (left) and Nick Cuthell (right) talk.
#caption#Portrait Gallery trustee Keith Ovenden welcomes visitors