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Recent Tour – James Turrell/Michael Parekowhai

Join Sue Gardiner for two of the years biggest exhibitions in one long weekend. Stop in Brisbane for one night to take in QaGoma including Michael Parekowhai’s “The Promised Land” and then head onto Canberra – city of light – for James Turrell: a retrospective

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James Turrell: A Retrospective

Explores the artist’s work over almost 50 years, bringing together Projection pieces, built spaces, holograms, drawings, prints and photographs. It celebrates Skyspaces, viewing chambers that affect our perception of the sky, and surveys Turrell’s life work, Roden Crater, a naked eye observatory in an extinct volcano on the edge of the Painted Desert, Arizona. The exhibition follows three highly successful shows throughout 2013—at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Guggenheim in New York—with works from LACMA’s tour and spectacular installations purpose-built for Canberra.

Since the 1960s James Turrell has made art from light. He studied mathematical and perceptual psychology, and his background as a Quaker and training as a pilot also inform his practice. After his first sculptures using fire, Turrell began to construct projections that produce illusionistic geometric shapes. Afrum (white) 1966, for example, appears as a hovering cube of light.

Raemar pink white 1969 plays with our perceptions, like a large, luminescent pink canvas levitating in front of a wall. Turrell uses a range of fluorescent, tungsten, fibre-optic, LED and natural light. His art is now located across the globe in permanent installations in museums and private collections—Within without 2010, the Skyspace at the National Gallery of Australia, is one of the most beautiful.

In the 1980s and 90s Turrell developed works that expose visitors to total darkness or isolate an individual in a contained environment. After green 1993 is an immersive installation: its intense red, with soft and hard edges, make it disorientating and exquisite. Bindu shards 2010 is a light cycle for one person, a bodily kaleidoscope with patterns of crystals, shards of light, stars, galaxies and nebulae. This Ganzfeld is part of Turrell’s largest and most marvellous series to date. Once inside, saturated in colour, with no edges or corners, we are uncertain of our surrounds—a feeling akin to walking on clouds. This is contemporary art as you’ve never seen before, and promises an experience not to be missed.”

Michael Parekowhai at QaGoma

‘Michael Parekowhai: The Promised Land’ is a major exhibition of one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary artists, featuring spectacular new works and key loans alongside a selection from the Gallery’s own Collection.

Parekowhai’s unique practice is characterised by a refined aesthetic and an engagement with the creation and role of culture in the contemporary world. Primarily sculptural, his works often play with scale and space, using humour to comment on the intersections between national narratives, colonial histories and popular culture. Parekowhai is known for bringing together an array of references, sometimes in a single object, with in-jokes and snippets of personal biography sitting side-by-side with art historical playfulness and big-picture cultural critique.

‘The Promised Land’ will see the Gallery transformed into an immersive environment for viewing art: a ‘memory palace’ within which to discover photography and sculpture spanning more than two decades of Parekowhai’s expansive practice.


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Day 1. Wednesday 20 May 2015

Depart on an Air New Zealand flight for Brisbane. On arrival our bus will take us straight to QaGoma to view the Michael Parekowhai immersive show “The Promised Land”. Here we will overnight on the Southbank for one night.

Day 2. Thursday 21 May 2015

This morning we start early and visit the Milani Gallery, and several other dealer galleries including the IMA before heading to the airport. We arrive in Canberra for three nights.

Day 3. Friday 22 May 2015

We head straight to the National Gallery for an early start to take in the James Turrell retrospective. We will spend the day at the National Gallery. Take in the nearby gallerys and museums of Canberra’s arts hub, and don’t forget the National Gallerys sculpture garden.

Day 4. Saturday 23 May 2015

Today we visit some of the other locales including the Canberra Contemporary Art Spaces, also including possibly Ben Quilty’s After Afghanistan at the National War Memorial.

Day 5. Sunday 24 May 2015

Check out and head to the airport for our flight home today. We arrive in Auckland at 8.45pm


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Minimum 10 maximum 14 guests

Airfares will be in The Works on Air NZ, accommodation in Brisbane for one night will be on the Southbank, accommodation in Canberra will be at the Crowne Plaza. All transfers will be provided.

Budget $2999.00 per person twin share and $3499 per person single