Source Material—Five Conversations with the Past

17 October - 18 December 2009/19 January - 7 February 2010

GBA: Print Publishing in the Gazette des Beaux Arts GBA: Print Publishing in the Gazette des Beaux Arts 2009-2010 Attic Vase Attic vases Source Material 2009 Marian Maguire, The Labours of Herakles, 2009 Marian Maguire, The Labours of Herakles, 2009 Source Material 2009 Gavin Hipkins, Bible Studies (New Testament), 2009 Gavin Hipkins, Bible Studies (New Testament), 2009 Gavin Hipkins, Lord of Rats, 2009 Gavin Hipkins, Abducted Young, 2009 Julian Dashper, Untitled (Van Gogh in Auckland), 2006 Julian Dashper, Untitled (Van Gogh in Auckland), 2006

Source Material: Five Conversations with the Past was a suite of five discrete projects, each with their own approach to the re-visioning of historical material.

The Labours of Herakles, the touring exhibition of lithographs and etchings by Marian Maguire which casts the archetypal Greek hero as New Zealand colonist was replaced in December 2009 by a group show of recent acquisitions from Victoria University of Wellington’s Art Collection. Featuring work by Vivian Lynn, Hye Rim Lee, Gavin Hurley, Daniel Malone, Billy Apple and Mary-Louise Browne, this diverse group show provided a snapshot of the current collecting activities of the University.

Alongside this, the Adam Art Gallery was proud to host seven precious Attic vases, illustrating scenes from the life of Herakles and selected from various collections by Victoria University’s Senior Lecturer in Classics, Judy Deuling.

Downstairs an exhibition curated jointly by David Maskill, Senior Lecturer in Art History at Victoria University, and his honours-year postgraduate students looked closely at the artist prints published in the 19th-century French journal Gazette des Beaux-Arts from 1859 to 1933, held in the university’s library. This curatorial project was the first to address the journal’s key role in the survival, revival and dissemination of European printmaking.

The fourth exhibition presented Bible Studies (New Testament) a major new body of work by leading New Zealand artist Gavin Hipkins that brought literary and religious sources into play to produce a rich commentary on the lasting power of iconography as its shapes us personally and collectively.

Finally the Adam Art Gallery paid tribute to New Zealand artist Julian Dashper by presenting two recent acquisitions to the Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection which also recall the past in unexpected ways.

The Adam Art Gallery published two catalogues to accompany the exhibitions. One has been prepared by David Maskill and his students to accompany their selection of prints from the Gazette des Beaux-Arts. The other documents Gavin Hipkins’ Bible Studies (New Testament) and features a new essay by leading Australian art historian Rex Butler and an interview with the artist conducted by contemporary art writer Allan Smith.

On 3 February 2010, the Adam Art Gallery held a forum to complement Source Material: Five Conversations with the Past. Academics from the fields of literature, religious studies, art history and classics shared their disciplinary approach on the re-use and re-interpretation of historical material to discuss what is at stake in the interpretation of texts and images from the past. Panellists included Judy Deuling, Anna Jackson, David Maskill, Glyn Parry. Chaired by Ian Wedde.

In realising these projects the Adam Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa, Photography by Woolf, Victoria University’s School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies, Exhibition Services, and Coopers Creek.

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Lost and Found? Understanding history through art forum discussion [mp3]

Click here to view the public programme events associated with this exhibition.


To accompany the post-graduate exhibition GBA: Print Publishing in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, a catalogue was published by the Adam Art Gallery, including essays by all students involved and exhibition curator David Maskill. Design by Alice Baxter. Available for purchase here.

An insightful catalogue was also produced in conjunction with Gavin Hipkins Bible Studies (New Testament). Published by the Adam Art Gallery, it includes essays by Christina Barton, Rex Butler and Allan Smith. Design by the International Office. Available for purchase here.