Southern environment showcased in new exhibitions

Two new, collaborative exhibitions will open at He Waka Tuia at the end of the month.

He Waka Tuia, a joint initiative between the Southland Museum and Art Gallery and the Invercargill Public Art Gallery, was created to ensure the Invercargill community and visitors can still access collections, experience history and stories and appreciate a variety of cultural endeavours, delivered in innovative and experimental ways.

Manager Sarah Brown said the two exhibitions, Wild and Gateway Murihiku, will follow on closely from Play, an immensely popular exhibition that has been a celebration of the simple joy that comes from informal play.

Wild and Gateway Murihiku will run concurrently, each show complementing the other with similar themes that talk about the natural environment and our community’s place in it, she said.

“Wild celebrates our unique wild environment. The community get to recreate a native bush and underwater scene from Fiordland within the gallery space, using both paper templates of native plants and pipe cleaners,” Brown said.

There will also be a salon style art exhibition of works from the IPAG collection that depict the wild environment of Murihiku, along with artefacts from the Southland Museum and Art Gallery collection.

“Wild will also include a dedicated area for children featuring ‘Reflection Rocks’, an installation of rock pillows that children can climb and hide in. There will also be games and large colouring-in activity based on the wild theme,” she said.

Gateway Murihiku will come from work done by the  Gateway Murihiku Group, which showcases the Invercargill Estuary over time and its importance to the community, Brown said.

“The exhibition is going focus on the past, present and future so we’ve got some artefacts, time lapse footage of the estuary and a mural by pupils at Ōtātara School. Visitors can reconnect with the area by sharing memories and hopes for its future.”

The two exhibitions will be complemented by artist workshops.

“I think people are figuring out that we’re here, that we’re not boring and stuffy, that we are doing things differently and that we do things that the community wants,” Brown said.

Both Wild and Gateway Murihiku open on July 30 at He Waka Tuia, Don St, Invercargill.