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Published: 09 September 2022

By Andy Ross

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A South Island roadtrip

Flutter at the Forrester Gallery in Oamaru

As described in the blog last week, our route went through Otautahi Christchurch, down to Oamaru Te Oha-a-Maru and back via Springfield Tawera to Mawhera Greymouth. 

The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetuu is currently host to films, the Maori Moving Image exhibition, created by Maori artists. Wonderfully diverse, the films feature fashion, an underwater haka, a rainstorm, a karaoke room with a fabulous paua shell disco ball and dyeing amongst other pieces. It was exciting to see and experience the vitality of this art form in what must be one of the country's best galleries. 

Also on at the Gallery is Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection. This show brings together works to explore new ways of looking at art and  includes a room of pieces by Grant Lingard, considered to be one of New Zealand's first political gay artists, who was born in Greymouth Mawhera and grew up on the West Coast.

The town of Ashburton Hakatere is South of Otautahi Christchurch and we visited the Art Gallery and Museum. The Museum has an extensive history of the area and there are displays of costume, working models of farming in the region, artefacts and much more. You can read more on the Museum's blog page here.  The Art Gallery's website is here and the collection comprises more than 200 permanent works and 2000 on long-term loan.

Further South, the town of Oamaru where the weavers McLean and Company are based also has an art gallery or two. The Forrester Gallery was hosting a show called Flutter, a witty take on 1970s butterfly stamps by Enid Hunter. This page features the stamps in question and the image on the left is a view of the flight of butterflies that were created in homage to the stamps. Oamaru is also home to a penguin colony and seals so a return visit to see these is on the cards. 

Of course, this being New Zealand, the scenery was spectacular and ranged from the plains of Canterbury to the incredible mountains, liberally festooned with snow. Below are a few pictures of what we saw on this eventful journey around the central part of the South Island. 

Looking North from Christchurch Otautahi
North of Oamaru lie the braids of the Waitaki River.
The Rangitata River
The Southern Alps with snow