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Curator’s Talk: Pāua: A Contemporary Jewellery Story

Thursday 20 October 2022, 10:30 am - 11:30 am



Join us for an exclusive Friend’s talk by Curator Sian van Dyk of an exhibition that reveals contemporary jewellers’ impressions of how a shell infiltrated our national psyche, exploring everything from its use in Māori whakairo rākau (carving) to its appearance in kiwiana and souvenir shops. You will see items from Te Papa’s collections in the exhibition, and hear about how the Friends gift to the museum of the Bone, Stone, Shell items fits into this narrative.

Dazzling and contemplative, Pāua: A Contemporary Jewellery Story includes over seventy works from The Dowse, Auckland Museum, Te Papa and private collections. It also features pieces belonging to Hutt Valley local Wendy Judgeford, who commissions leading jewellers to explore what pāua means to them.

We will be visiting just in time to also view te whitinga o te pō (the shining lady of the night). In 2021, to mark The Dowse’s 50th Anniversary, The Dowse Foundation unveiled a major commission by Te Waipounamu (South Island) based Fiona Pardington.

This unique installation-based project includes the artists signature photography alongside one of her first sculptural explorations in hues of shining gold. Inspired by the skull of an extinct huia from Pardington’s personal collection, this suite of works act as both a homage and a moment of contemplation for the loss of this significant taonga (treasure).

Sian van Dyk has been a curator at The Dowse Art Museum since 2013. Her recent curatorial projects include Guy Ngan HabitationThe Language of Things: Meaning and Value in Contemporary JewelleryMaureen Lander: Flat Pack WhakapapaRichard Stratton: Living HistorySeraphine Pick: White NoisePeter Peryer: A Careful Eye and Cut and Paste: The Practice of Collage. She has written for The Journal of Modern Craft (UK), Arnoldsche (DE), Art New Zealand and Art News New Zealand. In 2015 van Dyk was the recipient of the Creative New Zealand Craft/Object Art Curator to Munich award.

Ticket includes talk and koha. Non members welcome. 

Please gather in the Dowse foyer by 10.15am. We can reserve a table at Bellbird for coffee or lunch afterwards. (at own cost).


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Thursday 20 October 2022
10:30 am - 11:30 am
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The Dowse Art Museum
45 Laings Road Lower Hutt
Wellington, New Zealand
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