Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi at Twenty
Billy Apple, Fiona Clark, Mata Aho Collective, Colin McCahon, Christopher Perkins
06.11.19 – 22.03.20
Summer closedown 20.12.19 10.02.20

On 21 September 1999 Adam Art Gallery opened its doors for the first time. To mark our twentieth year, we celebrate with a suite of projects that demonstrate how we engage with artists and their practices, and art and its histories, to contribute critically and creatively to culture in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand.

Find out more about the public programme associated with these projects here.
Read the media release for Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi at Twenty here.


Mata Aho Collective making Te Whare Pora, Enjoy Public Art Gallery Wellington, 2011 (photo courtesy of Mata Aho Collective)

Te whai a te whenua: Mata Aho Collective’s Te Whare Pora
Level 3, Congreve Foyer

Te Whare Pora, 2012, is a powerful statement of indigenous knowledge systems and collective creativity. It is the first work made by the four-artist Mata Aho Collective and the newest acquisition to the Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection.

Mata Aho Collective is

Erena Baker (Te Atiawa, Ngāti Toarangatira, Ngāti Raukawa; b. 1984, Palmerston North, Aotearoa New Zealand) completed a Masters of Māori Visual Arts with First Class Honours through Massey University, Palmerston North in 2009. She is currently a Lecturer in the Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University. Erena lives and works in Palmerston North.

Sarah Hudson (Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe; b. 1986, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand) graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts with high distinction from Massey University, Wellington in 2010. She is an artist, mother, and curator at Te Kōputu a te Whanga a Toi Whakatāne Library & Exhibition Centre. Sarah lives and works in Whakatāne.

Bridget Reweti (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi; b. 1985, Aotearoa New Zealand) completed a Masters of Māori Visual Arts with First Class Honours at Massey University, Palmerston North and also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies from Victoria University of Wellington. She is currently co-chair of Enjoy Contemporary Art Space Trust and also co-editor of ATE Journal of Māori Art. In 2020, she will be the Frances Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago. Bridget lives and works in Wellington.

Terri Te Tau (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitāne ki Wairarapa; b. 1981, Sydney, Australia) completed a PhD in Creative Arts from Massey University in 2015. She also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Māori Visual Arts and a Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts from Massey University, Palmerston North in 2008. She recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at CARE, Centre for Culture-Centred Approach to Research at Massey University.  Terri is currently a freelance artist and writer and lives in Pohangina Valley in the Manawatū.

The acquisition of this work has been assisted by donations to the Adam Art Gallery Development Fund. To become a supporter visit


Colin McCahon, Gate III, 1970, acrylic on canvas, Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection, purchased with the assistance of The Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, 1972

‘A way through’ – Colin McCahon’s Gate III
Curated by Nina Dyer and Sophie Thorn
Level 3, Upper Chartwell Gallery

For the centenary of the artist’s birth that coincides with Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi’s twentieth year as the University’s professional art gallery and guardian of its art collection, we revisit Colin McCahon’s Gate III, 1971, a key work in the Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection, returning it to the building it helped launch in 1999. For this presentation, we bring together archival material that tells the story of this work: why and for what it was made; how it found its way to the University in Wellington; and what was going through McCahon’s mind as he painted.

The exhibition toured to Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, Auckland from August to October 2019 and will tour to the Centre of Contemporary Art , Christchurch in 2020.


Christopher Perkins, Taranaki, 1931, oil on canvas, collection of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (photo courtesy of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki)

‘Looking for a new country’ – Christopher Perkins in New Zealand
Curated by Christina Barton and Lachlan Taylor
Levels 2 and 1

Drawing on public and private collections from throughout New Zealand, this is the first exhibition to survey the work of Christopher Perkins (1891–1968), the British artist who spent five years in New Zealand (1929–1933) where he produced such iconic images as Taranaki, 1931 and Frozen Flames, 1931 (both in the collection of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki). Though these works have acquired a legendary status in New Zealand’s nationalist art history, the full extent of his production in New Zealand is not well known and no exhibition has previously been undertaken to review his achievements. This show seeks to remedy this oversight, extending attention to Perkins’ portraiture and his studies of Māori subjects undertaken in his final year when he and his family moved from Wellington to Rotorua, before returning to the United Kingdom.

This exhibition is supported by Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.


Fiona Clark, Ascent of Mt. Egmont, 1968, printed certificate, courtesy of Fiona Clark

The Live Feed – Fiona Clark’s ‘Egmontiana’
Level 2, Kirk Gallery

To coincide with the first survey of Christopher Perkins’ New Zealand works, Adam Art Gallery has invited Taranaki-based artist Fiona Clark to develop an installation that draws on her extensive archive of images relating to te mounga, the mountain under whose shadow she lives and works.

Fiona Clark (born 1954) received a Diploma in Fine Arts (Hons) from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, in 1975, focusing on performance and sculpture, though photography became her favoured medium. She has developed her practice from this time, undertaking in-depth, long-term photographic projects documenting specific social groups including transgender, gay and lesbian communities, body-builders, AIDS sufferers, and local Māori. Significant projects she has undertaken include Kai Moana (1979/81); Body Building (1982); He Taura Tangata (1986); Living with AIDS (1989); The Other Half (1997), and Go Girl (2002). Her work was included in, but subsequently removed from the first survey of contemporary photography, The Active Eye, organised and toured by the Manawatu Art Gallery in 1975–6, a problematic act of censorship in response to public outcry at her photographs’ subject matter. Since then, her works have been included in exhibitions at public galleries including Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth; Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt; Manawatu Art Gallery, Palmerston North; Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui; National Art Gallery, Wellington; City Gallery, Wellington, and other spaces such as Real Pictures; Photoforum Gallery; Raven Row, London; Artspace, Auckland, and Michael Lett, Auckland. Clark lives and works in Tikorangi, where she presents her work in a gallery she has created in a part of the old dairy factory she owns and where she maintains and develops her extensive archives. She is represented by Michael Lett, Auckland.


Billy Apple, From the Decade Series, 2019, inkjet print on paper, edition of 20, Adam Art Gallery Edition 1 (photo courtesy of Billy Apple)


Billy Apple, From the Decade Series, 2019, Adam Art Gallery Edition 1
Window Gallery

To mark the Adam Art Gallery’s twentieth-birthday milestone, we have commissioned artist Billy Apple to produce a limited-edition art work. He has chosen to mark the occasion by creating an inkjet print from his From the Decade Series in an edition of twenty. The edition will be available for purchase from 24 November 2019 via the Adam Art Gallery website. For further information, please contact Gallery Administrator Ann Gale Proceeds after GST and costs have been deducted will go to the Adam Art Gallery Development Fund.