Art gallery staff share their favourite artworks

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Peninsula view . . . Colin McCahon's painting Otago Peninsula (1946-1949) is one of the works featured in Dunedin Public Art Gallery's new Artpost series. IMAGE: Collection of Dunedin Public Libraries Ka Kete Wanaka o Otepoti, Rodney Kennedy bequest. Courtesy of the Colin McCahon Research and Publication Trust.

Dunedin Public Art Gallery is staying connected with art lovers by sharing “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something to do”.

Gallery staff have selected favourite artworks to highlight in a new series, entitled “DPAG Artpost”, being shared with the public on its email list and via its website.

The “something old” work featured in the Artpost is the much-loved painting Otago Peninsula, by New Zealand painter Colin McCahon.

For almost a decade from the end of the 1930s, McCahon returned to paint one of the Otago Peninsula’s most spectacular views, looking from Peggy’s Hill across Hereweka/Harbour Cone and out towards the tip of the peninsula

Far more than simply a picturesque vista, this landscape bound together the artist’s ideas, experiences and faith – it was a place of depth, power and inspiration.

McCahon’s Otago Peninsula is part of Dunedin Public Art Gallery’s exhibition A  Land of Granite: McCahon and Otago.

Fulfilling the “something new” slot is a recent acquisition for the gallery, Fiona Connor’s sculpture Miss Crabb Door (2005).

Added to the gallery’s exisiting holdings of Connor’s work, which were acquired following her 12-week residency in 2012, Miss Crabb Door represents an earlier period in Connor’s practice and speaks to her ongoing interest in the power of everyday objects.

Miss Crabb Door is an exact replica of the front door to the Miss Crabb clothing store in Ponsonby Rd in Auckland, which has since closed.

Miss Crabb Door made its gallery debut in Additions + Alterations, featuring eight works from the DPAG’s contemporary collection.

Under the “something borrowed” heading, Dunedin Public Art Gallery is borrowing happiness from a past exhibition — the enormously popular 2014 installation “The Cubic Structural Evolution Project” by Olafur Eliasson.

Hundreds of Dunedin families took part in the project, using white Lego bricks to make a broad range of creations, including castles, temples, city-scapes, ailing ships, aeroplanes, and creatures.

Under the heading of “something to do” is the first in a practical series exploring the techniques of some well-known and not-so-well-known artists.

The first featured artist is Henri Matisse, who painted in oils, but was also renowned for the cut-outs that he made in later life.

These were created by colouring heavy art paper with gouache paint, which is quite common in children’s paint boxes.

Following the instructions, families can create their own Matisse-style cutouts. To view the Dunedin Public Art Gallery’s Artpost, follow the link https://mailchi.mp/dcc/dunedin-public-art
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Or, you can sign up for the gallery’s regular newsletter at its website https://dunedin.art.museum