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The Vault Opens At Christchurch Art Gallery

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
The Vault Opens At Christchurch Art Gallery

Glimpses into normally hidden spaces behind the scenes of New Zealand museums and galleries will be offered by leading contemporary photographer Neil Pardington in his exhibition Neil Pardington: The Vault which opens at Christchurch Art Gallery on 6 November 2009.

The exhibition's 40 images reveals storage spaces that are normally closed to the public (including some at Christchurch Art Gallery), exposing storehouses of memory and places filled with mystifying treasure.

They include photographs of animals and birds in taxidermy storerooms, paintings fastened to sliding storage walls, specimens in jars, rooms of mannequins, shelves of films in tins, taonga Māori, buildings full of army vehicles, textiles, card catalogues and much more.

"For Pardington the works signify the collected culture and history of those things we deem important enough to keep, and what those things tell us about ourselves. They also serve to put museums and galleries into the spotlight and enrich our understanding of our national culture," says Jenny Harper, Director of Christchurch Art Gallery.

"His photographs are both voyeuristic and documentary; they touch chords of cultural imperialism and ecological loss as well as providing a fascinating record of our collecting habits."

A graduate of the University of Auckland's Elam School of Fine Arts in 1984, Pardington (Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Kati Waewae, Pākehā) has exhibited nationally and internationally, and worked as a film-maker, artist and designer. One of his films has been shown at Cannes. He has steadily built a reputation as one of New Zealand's most highly regarded photographers, and his work is now represented in many of the country's major collections. This is his first major solo show.

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