Culbert Hotere exhibition launches university’s new city gallery space at CoCA

The Head of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury (UC) Aaron Kreisler is delighted to return to central Christchurch with exhibitions by UC staff, students and alumni at the the Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki (CoCA).

The Head of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury (UC) Aaron Kreisler is delighted to return to central Christchurch with exhibitions by UC staff, students and alumni. He is celebrating a new agreement with the Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki (CoCA), supported by Objectspace in Auckland, with an exhibition of collaborative works by two of New Zealand’s most prolific artists – Bill Culbert, a UC graduate, and Ralph Hotere.

Kreisler previously curated an exhibition of these artists’ collaborative artworks, which toured to Dunedin and Hamilton, but works from this series have never been shown publicly in Christchurch.

Culbert Hotere: Post Black opens on 13 March for three months. It is the first of four exhibitions Kreisler will work on in CoCA’s ground floor gallery space this year.

“CoCA represents an opportunity to connect back to the arts community in the city. We last had the SoFA gallery in Christchurch in 2011, so we are looking forward to bringing the work of our artists back into the heart of the city,” he says.

“We have so much to contribute to the Christchurch art scene and while we have remained part of the creative community, it will be good to showcase our artists to the public in this space.

“The agreement also gives us a chance to reconsider how we use our Ilam campus gallery and to open up opportunities for students to learn to curate, install and produce exhibitions in a range of sites.”

Kreisler was close to Bill Culbert, who, like Hotere, was an internationally recognised artist (the two met in the 1960s when they were attending different art schools in London). Both artists passed away aged in their early 80s, Hotere in 2013 and Culbert in 2019, leaving a legacy of hugely influential work. This exhibition of collaborative works is a fascinating melding of two iconic creative talents.

Culbert Hotere: Post Black is presented at the Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki (CoCA) in partnership with UC School of Fine Arts from 13 March to 22 May.

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