On the table
Artists in the Jim Barr and Mary Barr collection
28 May 2022 - 2 October 2022
with et al., Nick Austin, Ruth Buchanan, Yona Lee and Marie Shannon
On the table flips the script, inviting a group of artists with work in the collection of Jim Barr and Mary Barr to shape this exhibition.
Jim and Mary began collecting work from their peers in the early 1970s, when Jim was a student at Ilam School of Fine Arts. Since then, they have continued to acquire work by established and early career artists—primarily, but not always, New Zealanders—and have become recognised advocates and outspoken commentators of contemporary art in this country. Their collection is shaped by a passionate interest in art’s politics, and direct, ongoing dialogues with artists—many of whom share a playful or ambivalent relationship to the practice of collecting.
et al., Nick Austin, Ruth Buchanan, Yona Lee and Marie Shannon were invited to ‘talk back’ to the collection they are a part of by determining the selection and presentation of artworks in this exhibition. In doing so, these artists begin to explore the relationships that have shaped the collection, and the agency of the artist within public and private contexts. These are lively conversations, thinking about intimacy, care, power and what it means to live with (or around) artworks over time.
Borrowing its title from the name of short-term gallery space previously run by Jim and Mary, On the table marks 25 years since a significant portion of their collection was placed on long-term loan to Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and the recent expansion of this loan to include more than 100 further artworks.
Ka hurikoaro te kōrero a Kai ruka i te tēpu i tana tono atu ki tētahi kāhui rika-toi me he mahi toi ā rātau ki te kohika toi o Jim rāua ko Mary Barr ki te whakarite i tēnei whakaaturaka.
I tīmata a Jim rāua ko Mary ki te kohi toi i ō rāua hoa i te tīmataka o te tekau-tau 1970, i a Jim e ako ana ki te Kura Toi o Ilam, Ilam School of Fine Arts. Nō taua wā, ko kohi tou rāua i te mahi toi nā kā rika-toi Ika-ā-Whiro, nā kā rika-toi Tore-Kai-Huruhuru hoki - mātua nei nō Aotearoa ekari ehara i te mea ko whakakōhatutia tēnā whakaaro - ā, ko tū ēnei rika-toi hai mākai, hai waha mō te mahi toi nō nāianei. Ko te wairua o te kohika nei ko whaoa e te aka kākaunui ki te toi tōrakapū, ki te kōrerorero hoki ki kā rika-toi - te nuika e pērā ana te kakahau, te kākaurua rānei ki te mahi kohi toi.
Ko tonoa a et al, rātau ko Nick Austin, ko Ruth Buchanan, ko Yona Lee, ko Marie Shannon ki te ‘whakahoki kōrero’ ki tēnei kohika, ko whai wāhi ai te katoa, nā tā rātau tīpako me te whakaaturaka o kā mahi toi nei. Nā te pēnei, ka tīmata ēnei rika-toi ki te toro atu ki kā whirika aho ko whakaahuatia te kohika, ki te mana hoki o te rika-toi i kā horopaki tūmatawhānui, tūmatawhāiti hoki. He kōrero whakahihiko ēnei matapakika, e whakaarohia ana te taupirika, te maimoataka, te mana, me te nohoka tahitaka ki (ki te taha rānei o) kā mahi toi haere nei te wā.
I minoa tōhona ikoa nā te ikoa o te ahurewa mātaki hau poto i whakahaerehia e Jim rāua ko Mary i mua, ka tohua e Kai ruka i te tēpu te 25 tau nō te wā i tukuna tētahi wāhi nui o tā rāua kohika ki te noho tautini ki Te Whare Toi Tūmatawhānui o Ōtepoti, me te whakaroroa nō nākuanei o tēnei nohoka tautinihaka kia kotahi rau nui ake anō kā mahi toi.