Auckland Art Gallery's exhibition Local Revolutionaries: Art & Change 1965–1986 brings together paintings, sculpture and works on paper that convey a period in which new approaches to materials and form reflected a commitment to personal freedoms of expression. For the first time a number of Aotearoa New Zealand artists had the opportunity to devote themselves to full-time art making.
The exhibition addresses a number of powerful issues that are characteristic of this period. These include a concentration on the expressive power of colour and pattern making in both abstract and figurative art; a belief in the value of personal artistic vision, and the rapid emergence of women artists and a trust in feminist experience. For many artists the personal became the political and vice versa, and nowhere more so than in the area of public protest. While many argued against the domination of nuclear powers in the Pacific and the anti-war movement internationally, at home many artists spoke out for the rights of women, and for the voices of Aotearoa New Zealand's indigenous peoples to be heard.
In 1984 a hikoi was organised to Waitangi to challenge traditional celebrations which were seen to reinforce the status quo and ignore Māori needs. Gil Hanly's black and white photographs of the event captures the dignity and determination of the protesters, who included representatives of many tribes. The day was followed by two hui which focused on calling a halt to any further celebrations until such time as the Treaty of Waitangi was honoured.
- Curated by
- Ron Brownson, Mary Kisler
- Level 1
- Free entry