Pianos and bulls: Te Papa, Wellington

Today I had a date with myself, a day off as the sun was shining and the waterfront magic. I also visited Te Papa Tongarewa, NZ’s national museum and a must see for all visitors to Wellington, NZ.

One of the exhibitions I saw was Micheal Parekowhai’s “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” which was first shown at the 2011 Venice Biennale. As I have said in an earlier blog ,it is different in this setting to the one I saw in Christchurch (NZ) one because its inside, and the other is it’s the first time they have been shown together in one space – I believe he wanted the pieces even closer together but this was not possible because of the weight of the bronze! Note; this is only on show until 23rd September 2012

I liked it better in Christchurch – see those photos here. (what do you think?)

Hannah Fraser accompanies singer Aroha White

Catherine McKay plays He Korero the piano which has been purchased by Te Papa. (she also played it in Venice)


Bronze bulls and cultural vandalism

Travelling from the 2011 Venice Biennale, on to Paris, then Christchurch and now, Wellington, New Zealand is Michael Parekowhai ‘s installation On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer .

The centrepiece of the installation is the bright red, carved, grand piano and I look forward to seeing it again in its new space at Te Papa – NZ’s national museum.  ( Te Papa has bought this part of the installation)

I saw the installation in Christchurch in June 2012 but will be sure to see it indoors here in my new city: I’m sure its surroundings make a difference.  When I saw it the bronze pianos and bulls were outside – in a patch of cleared rubble – there after buildings had been demolished following the city-destroying quake in February 2011. I loved the setting.  In Venice it was in a 15th century, Gothic palace.

Interestingly, or rather ironically, in Christchurch the piano, titled He Koreoro Purakau mo te Awanui o te Motu: story of a New Zealand river,  was inside a Christchurch  Art Gallery  “Outer Spaces”  space in the NG  building on Madras St.

This historic building, the old Bains warehouse, is one of very few left in the city after the quake and resulting demolitions in the inner city.  This repaired, safe building is scheduled to be demolished for a sports stadium: appalling cultural vandalism.

Solace in the Wind – public art is the photo of the day

A much- loved Wellington piece of public art




By sculptor Max Patte.  Solace in the Wind is on the Wellington waterfront beside Te Papa. It is a two-metre-high iron figure leaning forward into a cross-harbour gale with eyes closed and arms held back and locals ( and I suspect his creator also) often dress him in clothes appropriate to the season or occasion – I will do a photo blog of some of them one day.