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Headlands: Thinking Through New Zealand Art

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


01 Apr 1992 to 28 Jun 1992


Laurence Aberhart, Sandy Adsett, Rita Angus, Lillian Budd (Merylyn Tweedie), Derrick Cherrie, Julian Dashper, Shona Rapira Davies, Neil Dawson, Don Driver, Andrew Drummond, Lyonel Grant, Bill Hammond, Terrence Handscomb, Jeffrey Harris, Christine Hellyar, Rangimarie Hetet, John Hurrell, Michael Illingworth, Megan Jenkinson, Richard Killeen, Alison Maclean, Colin McCahon, Julia Morison, Milan Mrkusich, Michael Parekowhai, Peter Peryer, John Reynolds, Theo Schoon, Marie Shannon, Michael Smither, Dennis Knight Turner, Gordon Walters, Ruth Watson, Christine Webster, Cliff Whiting


Robert Leonard, Bernice Murphy, John McCormack, Cheryll Sotheran, Cliff Whiting

About the exhibition

Headlands involved thinking about and through New Zealand art, reconsidering it, and consciously moving away from the traditional conventions of selecting and presenting work of a particular culture in a group show.

The curators sought to incorporate many points of view; multiple voices and experiences through which New Zealand art can be written and read.

Maori artists and historians were involved throughout the process, however the curators were careful not to present Maori art in parallel to Pakeha art. Rather the exhibition probed how the cultural traditions of the two have interacted and created new forms through contact with each other.

Headlands aimed to present an overview of New Zealand art which opened up ways of thinking, extended knowledge, and shifted this knowledge into new possibilities of awareness. By building on pre-existing notions of the culture and art of New Zealand, this exhibition reflected and reconsidered those judgements, presenting new ideas, and re-presenting the familiar in a new context.

Organised in collaboration with the National Art Gallery, New Zealand, with assistance from the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa and the Council for Maori Arts Te Waka Toi.

Tour Itinerary

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington: 5 September – 1 Novermber 1992