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Ben Lysaght - Tree Museum


Fri 5 Mar 2021, 10:00am–6:00pm
Sat 6 Mar 2021, 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: Toi Pōneke Arts Centre, 61-69 Abel Smith St, Te Aro, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

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  • Admission: Free
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Tree Museum, a new exhibition of paintings by Pōneke artist Ben Lysaght, explores peculiarities within the history of botanical gardens and archives.

Utilising archival images, Lysaght explores individual stories of specimens which have been comically misrepresented by prestigious institutions. These institutions project an illusion of unbiased authority but are riddled with human error and folly. Tree Museum explores the humour in these incidences of misinformation. Lysaght uses bold, hyper-saturated colour palettes to subvert the sterility of the archival space and highlight the flawed idealisation of nature.

Today, botanical gardens and archives play an important role in nature conservation and sharing of knowledge internationally. However, these institutions also have a dubious history, entrenched in Eurocentric and colonial narratives, which often undervalue indigenous knowledge and input.

Lysaght is interested in how archives function as a form of collective memory but are simultaneously strictly divided and secured away. As a result, they also determine which histories are given legitimacy. Within these vast repositories of knowledge, it is easy for important artefacts and records to be completely lost, while others are celebrated.

Generously supported by The Emerging Artist Trust

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