Tēnā koutou,

Ngā mihi

Wellington’s spring weather is rather chilly after three weeks of fabulous architecture, art and landscapes, with constant cloudless skies and temperatures of 35C and above. Our group of 21 had a simply wonderful time in Egypt and Jordan on the Friends first overseas tour. A wealth of amazing experiences was packed into each day, with 1000s of photos yet to be sorted.  Waking at sunrise at Mena House to see the Great Pyramid just across the hotel lawn was unforgettable, its physical presence is so powerful. The second group has now left Egypt for Jordan and we are looking forward to sharing experiences on their return. In due course we will put up a gallery of images on the Friends web site, so you can enjoy some highlights.

Thank you to Vice President Jillian Wellings and the Friends committee for ensuring a very successful programme throughout August and September. I was sorry to miss Lizzie Bisley’s insightful talk on Gordon Walters: New Vision, and Friends’ members Shani Pillai and Joji Jacobs fascinating series on the rich and colourful world of Indian textiles.  As many Friends know, Shani and Joji offer small group tours to Asia through their company, All Things Intriguing Travel, which also supports several community and environment developments in India. Coming up are more not-to-be-missed talks and visits, notably Peter Wellings on Understanding Colour, and Peter Simpson on Colin McCahon & America: Before, During & After, marking the centenary of McCahon’s birth.

It was exciting to hear that the Royal Academy of Arts and Te Papa are partnering for the London exhibition, Rita Angus: New Zealand Modernist, the first solo show of a New Zealand artist at the Royal Academy.  If you are planning to visit the UK next year, do note the dates of 18 October 2020 to 24 January 2021.

Lastly, you may notice that after 20 years, the Friends brand identification has had a refresh. Following extensive deliberation, and the much-appreciated input of Te Papa’s design team, the new look has been inspired by the magnificently carved Waharoa, the Gateway or entrance to a Pā. Our orange shade is now red ochre, which we hope will print more consistently, and the new logo will include our Māori name, Ngā Hoa o Te Papa.

Nāku noa, nā
Elizabeth Kay