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BELONGING

Works from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery

5th Apr 2014 - 21st Feb 2016

This exhibition delves into the Gallery’s holdings to showcase a rich range of popular European masterpieces, rarely seen treasures and a sampling of more contemporary artworks.  A Gallery’s collection often reflects a sense of communal identity and place for its audience, which this exhibition teases out through some of its most highly regarded and well known items. 

Defining where or in what ways one ‘fits-in’, can be shaped as much by the impact of external factors as the internal processes that situate us in the world.  This exhibition investigates, through utilising various items from the Gallery’s holdings, the numerous permutations of what it means to belong in a vast array of historical, cultural and contemporary circumstances.  One definition of ‘belonging’ refers to the act of placing or classifying something to sit within a specific environment. So, in its widest sense this concept is always present within a public institution that catalogues, holds and cares for a collection on behalf of the wider community. 

Relationships and connections with family, friends and colleagues; our place of residence and sense of home, including personal effects; and membership to groups, clubs and other organisations all fosters the human need and desire to belong to something greater than ourselves. This exhibition examines both the physical and psychological ideas around belonging, from who we are as individuals and how we are defined, to the wider ways in which we come to feel accepted, secure, included and loved – all ultimately determining our identity. 

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