Our guide book had described this gallery as having one of the best collections of European art in New Zealand and perhaps it does. Unfortunately on our visit there was none of the work on display. As luck would have it (bad luck) we found this in quite a few galleries we visited during our trip to the country - everyone seemed to be in the midst of changing exhibitions and one section in Dunedin was closed off entirely.
Those exhibits on display here were mostly modern art including some “installations“. The entrance foyer for example had Paua shells and fluorescent tubes running the length of the room and the tubes featured in other parts of the gallery. It must have been symbolism for something - perhaps highlighting a world of wasted energy?
I sometimes steady myself in these circumstances, thinking of how the Impressionists were mocked and caused outrage when they first exhibited their works of art and how their paintings now change hands for millions. I also sometimes think of the story of the Emperor’s Clothes and imagine that a child will come along and say something obvious…
They have a beautiful building here but despite the space on several levels there wasn’t much to see.
There is no entry fee, the staff we met were very proactive and friendly and there is a small selection of items to purchase (card, books, etc) near the reception desk. There is also a café but we didn’t try it.
Based on our experience it’s one for contemporary art lovers. We visited in November 2013 and the exhibition has been similar for some time judging by the review on 8 February 2014 by Beardy2014 entitled “I was Furious!” which provided a good description of the exhibits we saw too…and made me “lol” (laugh out loud). I can only sympathise.