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Sat 29 Nov 2008–Sun 5 Apr 2009, 9:00am–8:00pm

Where: Rotorua Museum of Art and History, Government Gardens Rotorua, Rotorua

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $12.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Rotoruamus

A highly topical and internationally important exhibition will herald the opening of Rotorua Museum’s newly completed Rotorua Trust Galleries on 29th November 2008.

Writer and curator Ian Wedde was commissioned to assemble an exhibition. His response, a wide-ranging multi-media selection of paintings, video installations and sculpture, has built on the theme of water. He Korowai o te Wai – The Mantle of Water celebrates fresh water as the source of life.

Wedde states, ‘All life on earth depends on water. Water also sustains human societies everywhere. It is now a critical resource – ‘blue gold’ – as humans place fresh water resources under stress’.

Divided into themes, He Korowai o te Wai addresses issues related to water on a number of levels. In the spacious north wing of the museum, under the heading ‘Looking at Water’, Bill Culbert’s and Ralph Hotere’s immense 1999 installation Blackwater will be displayed with video works by the Korean artist Jae Hoon Lee and the Australian, David Cross.

Elizabeth Thomson’s dazzling 2007 wall installation, The Shimmering Lakes, keeps company with works including Anne Noble’s celebrated 1992 Wanganui series of photographs. Works by Pierre Renoir, James Whistler, Paul Gauguin, Colin McCahon and Francis Hodgkins, among others, are included. A specially commissioned work by Australian video artist Tim Gruchy, Memory Floods, will fill (and drain from) the museum’s front windows.

In the south wing, ‘Looking after Water’ will address critical issues associated with fresh water. Its focus is children and young people. This section will include Brian Brake’s celebrated Monsoon photographs (1958-1960), a continuous film programme, a ‘Mokoia to Maketu’ banner project by children of Rotorua and a large 3D scale model of the complex lakes and rivers linking Rotorua to the sea.

Of ‘Looking after Water’, Wedde says, ‘Important debates are under way in New Zealand and internationally about fresh water: who owns it, who is polluting it, what should we do? Now more than ever, every drop counts’.

For further information please contact Ann Somerville on 07 3501814 ex 7823 email:

Picture Credit: Unknown photographer, Taking koura into a canoe, (date unknown), Rotorua Museum.