Exhibition: John Pule – Hauaga (Arrivals)

John Pule, Another Green World, 2006. Private Collection

Image via City Gallery Wellington


Press Release

19/03/2010

A Pacific voice in our contemporary world

City Gallery Wellington announces a major survey show by John Pule

Revisiting one’s birthplace can prompt many things, including a reconnection with family, customs, or culture. For John Pule, it triggered a deep connection with the customary Niuean art form of hiapo (barkcloth painting), and became the basis of his extraordinary progression as an artist.

John Pule: Hauaga (Arrivals) opens at City Gallery Wellington on 29 May, his first major solo exhibition in a public gallery. Pule is one of New Zealand’s most respected and important artists, and this exhibition promises to be a landmark survey of his work.

Gallery Director Paula Savage is delighted that City Gallery is launching this milestone exhibition.

“City Gallery Wellington is thrilled to give John Pule this well-deserved major survey show, which spans 20 years of his work. This exhibition demonstrates how his work stretches across art forms and cultures, drawing from an endlessly rich range of historical and present-days sources from the Pacific, as well as Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond.”

John Pule has since the mid 1980s explored performance, poetry, literature and painting, all drawing upon his Niuean culture but placed within a contemporary context.  Today he is a prominent figure within New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region, and plays a pivotal role in the presentation of contemporary Pacific culture.

This exhibition features Pule’s powerful large canvases and his major suites of works on paper which showcase his skill as a printmaker. It surveys his career since 1991—the year he travelled back to his birthplace, Niue, and reconnected with the traditional Niuean art of hiapo. A dramatic series of recent works will also be included. His practice as both painter and poet come together in many of these works, as narratives of the artist’s real and imagined lives are evoked both visually and verbally.

His art has been included in major exhibitions in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. Major collections of his work are held at the Queensland Art Gallery and as far a field as the National Gallery of Scotland. In 2004 Pule was honoured with the prestigious Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.

Co-curators Gregory O’Brien and Aaron Lister have worked closely with the artist in developing the scope and themes of this important exhibition.

Alongside the exhibition, Otago University Press (in association with City Gallery Wellington) is producing Hauaga: The Art of John Pule a large scale monograph about Pule and his work. The book will be launched at the same time as the exhibition opens. It features colour plates of over 100 works by the artist and includes major essays by Nicholas Thomas (the book’s editor), Peter Brunt, Gregory O’Brien and writings by John Pule. While existent writing about John Pule is extensive, this is the first dedicated publication about the artist’s work and will be the most comprehensive publication on the work of a living Pacific artist.

Source: City Gallery Wellington

Press Release

17/05/2010

Just in time for winter, the Pacific comes to City Gallery Wellington

Major survey show by John Pule opens at City Gallery Wellington on May 29

John Pule’s exhibition Hauaga (Arrivals), opening at City Gallery Wellington on May 29, is causing ripples right across the world. This major survey show, initiated by City Gallery, is John Pule’s first solo show in a major public art gallery, and has drawn international interest. In a recent interview, Cambridge University professor and Pacific art and culture expert Nicholas Thomas said “John is possibly the most important, living, contemporary Pacific artist. His work has a range and accomplishment that I think very few other practitioners match”.

City Gallery Director Paula Savage agrees. “We are delighted to be able to launch this exhibition, which is of major significance not just to New Zealand, but internationally. John is a major figure in contemporary New Zealand art, and we are honoured to be able to bring his work together on this scale for the first time.”

A major highlight of the exhibition is the inclusion of some of Pule’s greatest works on paper, which include both his images and text. These works show Pule’s strengths as a poet as well as a painter, asking to be read as well as viewed.

John Pule’s art has been included in major exhibitions in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. Major collections of his work are held at the Queensland Art Gallery and as far a field as the National Gallery of Scotland. In 2004 Pule was honoured with the prestigious Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.

Alongside the exhibition, Otago University Press (in association with City Gallery Wellington) is producing Hauaga: The Art of John Pule, an extensive new publication including colour plates of over 100 of Pule’s works. Celebrating Pule’s place as both painter and poet, it includes major essays by Cambridge University professor Nicholas Thomas (the book’s editor), Dr Peter Brunt, Gregory O’Brien and writings by John Pule. This is the first dedicated publication about the artist’s work and will be the most comprehensive publication on the work of a living Pacific artist.

Source: City Gallery Wellington

What: John Pule – Hauaga (Arrivals)

When: 29 May – 12 September, 2010

Where: City Gallery Wellington in the West and East Galleries, Wellington, New Zealand

Free Entry


Further Reading

Further Reading about John Pule

John Pule Works List

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