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Floor Talk: Arranging Nature and Wayne Barrar: From the Glass Archive

Wednesday 15 November, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

$15.00 – $20.00

Te Papa’s Toi Art galleries have just opened a suite of new exhibitions titled Tēnei Papa Tīoi / This Swaying Earth in which artists, makers and photographers express their relationships with the natural world – from past to present, through colour, form, materials, and sound.  Join Te Papa’s Historic Art Curator Rebecca Rice and Photography Curator Athol McCredie as they introduce two of the new exhibitions in a curator-led floor talk.

Arranging Nature draws on Te Papa’s unique collections to explore the relationship between art and science. The exhibition considers how Aotearoa’s natural world has been described and classified by artists and photographers, since the 19th century. In the works on display, we can see how these makers have captured the wonder and beauty that they observed around them.

Wayne Barrar: From the Glass Archive enters the magical world of diatoms. Diatoms are tiny organisms that live in oceans, rivers, and lakes. The 19th century saw a craze for arranging their glassy skeleton fossils into intricate patterns. In his photographs, Wayne Barrar delves into this ‘glass archive’ to explore its microscopic wonders.

This is one of two curator-led floor talks offered to the Friends of Te Papa in Tēnei Papa Tīoi / This Swaying Earth. The other will be held on Tuesday 28 November and can be booked here: Floor Talk: Memory Spaces and This Natural World – Friends of Te Papa

Rebecca Rice is an art historian who specialises in the field of colonial New Zealand art, with a particular interest in the histories of collecting, exhibition, and display. Her current research focuses on the visual culture of the New Zealand Wars, and the impact of impressionism on New Zealand artists at home and abroad.
Athol McCredie‘s expertise is in New Zealand photography, particularly from WWI to the present. His most recent publication is The New Photography: New Zealand’s First Generation of Documentary Photographers (Te Papa Press, 2019). Current research interests include the work of Levin photographer Leslie Adkin (1888–1964), Wellington’s Spencer Digby studio, photobooks, and the history of writing about New Zealand photography. He is currently working on a book for Te Papa Press on Leslie Adkin due out in late 2024.
Image Credits: Above: Wayne Barrar, ‘Group of diatomaceae, various.’ Circular arranged slide of 278 diatoms from Oamaru, by Watson and Sons, c.1890, 2014, photograph. Te Papa, purchased 2021 (O.049388).  Right: Sarah Featon, Aka. Rata, circa 1885, watercolour. Te Papa, purchased 1919 (1992-0035-2277/77)



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Wednesday 15 November
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
$15.00 – $20.00


Friends of Te Papa


Toi Art, Level 4, Te Papa
Te Papa, 55 Cable Street
Wellington, 6011 New Zealand
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