Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Arty Bharti party

India Bharti performing in Manners Mall (photo from The Wellingtonista)Aaron Laurence Gallery is starting to become a real multimedia powerhouse. In addition to art and candyfloss, it now also hosts monthly music nights called "Shake the Foundations". This Friday at 8pm there will be a set by acoustic guitarist Dick Whyte and the debut performance by Tracer (using samples to "define and convey image through the act of tracing"). If that's not eclectic enough for you, The Wellingtonista's favourite Bhartiphone player, India Bharti, will be doing his thing (hat tip to The Wellingtonista for the photo), so that'll be a good chance to hear his music without standing around in a mall. Bring your own drinks (and cushion).

You may have seen today's Capital Times article about artist Freeman White and his winning entry for the Adam Portraiture Award. In it, White expresses frustration at his long struggle to be recognised by dealers, but he hasn't gone completely unrecognised, since Laurence has some of his work at the gallery. You can also see some of his work on The Learning Connexion's alumni page (scroll right to the end), and of course his winning portrait is part of the NZ Portrait Gallery exhibition that's at Shed 11 until the 17th of April.

While this is only a temporary exhibition, it shows how well Shed 11 works as an exhibition space. It's interesting to read that the council is seeking government help to find the Portrait Gallery a permanent home on the waterfront, along with the Centre for Photography. I'm only speculating about the specific location they have in mind, but with the adjacent Shed 13 currently vacant, it would make perfect sense for one or both of these institutions to be housed in these two sheds. They would complement the commercial, residential and entertainment activities elsewhere in Kumutoto and help turn it into a true mixed-use precinct.

Princess Hanz at Midnight BurlesqueWhite's winning entry is a portrait of playwright Ryan McFadyen. If the title (Portrait of Hans) is a little confusing, this because McFadyen also performs as a cabaret artist under the name of Hans or Princess Hanz. You can see some rather different pictures of Hans in action on my much earlier posts about Salon Freak! and cabaret fever. It seems that multidisciplinary flexibility is a prerequisite for Wellington artists.


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