You’d have to have been living under a rock (by which I mean "not been in Civic Square for the last couple of weeks") not to have noticed the outbreak of spots all over the City Gallery. It’s an installation by Yayoi Kusama to publicise her Mirrored Years exhibition, which is a showpiece for the newly revamped and extended gallery.
After nearly a year of closure, the gallery is celebrating its relaunch with the Gallery-a-Go-Go event in Civic Square this Sunday. While many will be most excited by the return of Nikau café (which reopened a week or so ago) and its famous kedgeree, there are a whole lot of new gallery spaces to explore after the expansion. There’s the brand new Roderick and Gillian Deane Gallery of M?ori and Pacific Art, which will host Ngaahina Hohaia’s Parihaka-themed work; a new Adam Auditorium; and a much larger Michael Hirschfeld Gallery. The opening exhibition there will be the huge installation Make Way by Regan Gentry, a Wellington artist best known for his large-scale public sculptures exploring public space and urban change.
[more after the jump]
All this new space has been made possible by the new extension to the rear of the gallery. Designed by Stuart Gardyne of Architecture+, architects of the Gallery’s original transformation from the former city library, the darkly minimal form is clad in a very unusual material. Webgrate is normally used for industrial catwalks and fences, but here the ribbed and oxidised metal grating forms a screen over the black inner layer, creating strangely tactile effects depending upon the distance and angle of view.