Artist Talk: Christine Hellyar

As part of the official opening of Looking, Seeing, Thinking, join Christine Hellyar for a fascinating discussion of the ideas behind her latest exhibition, followed by light refreshments. The silk drawings and printed textiles mix Pacific scenes with 18th century toile cloth to reference the history of the 18th century enlightenment era in Aotearoa. Hellyar is particularly interested in what Europeans brought into the Pacific at that time, and also what they took, including the development of museum collections.

Christine Hellyar was born and raised in New Plymouth and still takes inspiration from the wild landscapes she grew up with, as well as those around Auckland where she currently lives and works. She studied sculpture at Elam School of Fine Arts in the late 1960s, returning there to teach from 1981-1996, before pursuing a full-time art career.

Her earliest work plays a significant role in a period of art-making that moved out of the gallery and into remote sites, where temporary installations and events took place. Always interested in the landscape, she brings a distinctly domestic and gendered view to her work, notably with one of her best-known works, Country Clothesline (1972), which is in the collection of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. For much of the 1970s, she lived and travelled in Europe, Egypt and the USA.

Hellyar has won several awards and residencies, including the Adam Award in 1988, the Department of Conservation residency in 2003, the Tylee Cottage residency in 2005, and the Auckland Botanic Gardens residency in 2011. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions around New Zealand and internationally since the 1970s. Her work is included in many important New Zealand collections.

Image: Christine Hellyar, Looking XIII, 2017

26 August, 2-2pm