COMMUNITY GALLERY EXHIBITION
Friedensreich Hundertwasser was a visionary – a conservationist, a craftsman, a protester and a rebel – but he is most celebrated as a master of 20th century modern art.
In 1973 Hundertwasser ‘found paradise’ in Northland, New Zealand. The artist embraced Māori culture, became a citizen and designed and helped build his famous Kawakawa toilets. When he died in 2000 Hundertwasser was buried on his own beloved Kaurinui property in the Bay of Islands, where he had sculpted the landscape and planted hundreds of trees.
In 1994 Hundertwasser first sketched his ideas for an art centre for Whangarei, choosing the Town Basin’s old Harbour Board building to be transformed into one of his famous ‘architectural doctorings’. There are some 30 of these structures around the world, all renowned destinations that inspire lovers of art, architecture and travel.
Hundertwasser’s art centre is the last major structure conceived by the artist and remains as his gift to the people of Northland and New Zealand. Twenty-three years after inception, the project to build the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Māori Art Gallery is at a crucial stage. An all-volunteer community team has raised just over 90% of funds needed before a 30th June 2017 deadline, if the last 10% is not raised the art centre cannot proceed.
Some of New Zealand’s best recognised artists have come forward to support the project by offering editions of their work. Emily Karaka, Billy Apple, Dick Frizzell and Tony Ogle represent a huge contribution to the project and for their vision and generosity, the project team is eternally grateful.
This exhibition showcases these artists’ work, together with the HAC Building Stone and Conservation Week reproductions, and original Bibel by Hundertwasser. Some of these works have been generously gifted to the Whangarei Art Museum Collection.