Local Atlas: Contemporary New Zealand and Australian Art

local atlas 006

Installation view of Local Atlas, 2004

Local Atlas: Contemporary New Zealand and Australian Art

  • Where

    Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

  • When

    16 October 2004 - 24 June 2005

"This exhibition represents some key contemporary works of art in the collections of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and the Chartwell Trust. Some common themes are immediately apparent - a direct response to nature and environment; and a preoccupation with knowledge and cultural identity.

While the Gallery is renowned for its collections of New Zealand art, it also holds one of the key collections of Australian art. In the last two generations the contacts between New Zealand and Australia have become very close in all forms of artistic expression.

The great maritime explorer James Cook was the first person to widely reveal the geographic proximity of both lands and to note that the indigenous people of both places were entirely different. Cook showed where New Zealand and Australia fitted together on the world's atlas. This exhibition seeks to reveal each artist's affirmation of their cultural locality."

Curated by Ron Brownson. 

The image shows a white gallery space with a polished wooden floor. On the left hand wall hangs three floor to ceiling paintings made up of similar black patterns on white backgrounds, of varying textures and shapes. An older man sits in a chair in the centre of the room facing the painting, reading a piece of paper. Through a doorway next to the painting, more gallery spaces filled with sculptures and art on the walls can be seen.

Mike Parr, Elegnem Sa Essitam (The Breeze of Death), 1985. Chartwell Collection.


The image shows a white gallery space with a polished wooden floor. In the centre of the room, a sculpture of a grey concrete triangular shape sits on a flat plinth. On the walls around the sculpture hang multiple artworks of various sizes and colours, with people standing around in the space contemplating them.

Installation view of Local Atlas.


The image shows artworks hanging on a wall. On the left hangs a large circle of wood with a bright orange cross painted through it. Next to this hang three small artworks comprised of lots of small pieces of chopped wood arranged together and whitewashed. On the right stands a large abstract sculpture which tapers outwards.

Left to right: Mervyn Williams, Odyssey, 1989, Auckland Art Gallery Collection. Rosalie Gascoigne, Piece Work, Web and Foreign Affairs, 1994, Chartwell Collection. Brett Graham, Te Pu, 1993, Auckland Art Gallery Collection.


The image shows a long rectangular vitrine, which holds four plastic skulls. The back of each skull is coloured blue, brown, green and red respectively, while all the fronts of the skulls are the same shade of milky white. The skulls are semi-transparent.

Ricky Swallow, iMan Prototypes, 2001. Chartwell Collection.