She Claims: Art Matters – Judy Darragh and Rhana Devenport


event Details

Women’s art has often been overlooked or underappreciated in the history of art. In the 1970s, women artists in Aotearoa New Zealand campaigned passionately for equality within the arts and wider socio-political change. A 2017 article in House & Garden magazine celebrated a ‘golden moment’ for gender equality in the arts in the United Kingdom, featuring 11 women in senior positions at arts organisations who were photographed at Tate Modern. These women point out there is still a long way to go when it comes to gender bias in the arts.

So, we think it’s time to put women in the spotlight. Join us at She Claims: Art Matters, a series of events where you’ll rub elbows with creatives and critics while celebrating the ideas, voices and power of creative women. We kick off this series, just before the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand, with a conversation between two inspiring women: Auckland Art Gallery Director Rhana Devenport and visual artist Judy Darragh.

Interested in the history of women artists in New Zealand? The exhibition Collective Women: Feminist Art Archives from the 1970s to the 1990s is now on display.


About the speakers

Judy Darragh is a highly respected New Zealand artist, known for her brightly coloured sculptural collections of found objects, recycled items, industrial materials and much more. Since the early 1990s, she has been identified with large ambitious works which alter public spaces to glorious effect. Her work Limbo, a collection of seven large metallic shapes accented with fluorescent paint resembling colourful meteors or space matter, is brightening up Gallery’s North Atrium since 2015.

In 2017, together with artist Imogen Taylor, Judy launched Femisphere 1, a platform and publication encouraging inclusivity and visibility of women’s practices in the visual arts sector of Aotearoa.

Femisphere 1 is their attempt at presenting a structure to support diverse conversation around female artists’ work from the past, present and future.         

Rhana Devenport ONZM is a museum director, curator, writer, editor and cultural producer whose career has spanned art museums, biennales and arts festivals. Her specialist experience is with contemporary art of Asia and the Pacific, time-based media and audience engagement. Rhana was curator for the New Zealand Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia in 2017, with ‘Lisa Reihana: Emissaries'. Previous positions include Director of Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand (2006-2013); Manager of Public Programmes, Biennale of Sydney (2005-2006); Curator in Residence, Artspace NZ, Auckland (2005); Visual Arts Manager, Sydney Festival (2004); and Senior Project Officer, Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia (1994-2004). She was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her ‘Services to Arts Governance’ in the New Year’s Honours List for 2018.


Run of events

5.30pm   Doors open – refreshments

6–7pm    Conversation and questions

7.30pm   Doors close

* Ticket price include a drink and canapés.


Members $25 per event, or $65 for a series of three.
Non-Members $75 per event, or $115 for a series of three (includes an annual Membership).

Members $25, General Admission $75
Book now