Art without labels in Christchurch exhibition
27 January 2015
An exhibition at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, on until 22 February, features artworks from a broad spectrum of artists, including artists with intellectual disabilities, local practising artists and art tutors, prisoners, and art students.
Anthony Wright, Director, Canterbury Museum, says the diverse range of artists involved in the Outside In exhibition is “impressive”.
“Artworks have been created by art students, local artists, prisoners and people with intellectual disabilities but the focus is on the artwork, not the artist,” he says. “We are all aiming to break down barriers.”
Bev Lowen is co-ordinating and curating Outside In with University of Canterbury’s fine arts graduate Gail Batchelor. Bev is also the Arts Facilitator of SkillWise’s community-based creative space The White Room, which provides a supportive learning environment where intellectually disabled people can practise art.
“An important part of making art is being able to share it,” Bev says. “The response from the Christchurch community has been fantastic, and we expect a lot of interest and a great turnout for the exhibition.”
The exhibition features work by more than 60 artists, including stone carvings by a Deaf and blind sculptor who works with Christchurch sculptor Bon Suter.
Unlike many exhibitions, the exhibition focuses on the artworks rather than the artists and their backgrounds, Bev says. Statements from the artist are included in the exhibition catalogue but the artists' background and stories are not connected to specific pieces of art.
“This is art without the labels. We want people to look at the art rather than the artist,” Bev says. “By eliminating preconceived ideas and labels, we hope the exhibition will break down barriers and change attitudes about what constitutes art and who gets to be an artist.”
Outside In runs in Canterbury Museum’s Visitors’ Lounge from 27 January to 22 February 2015.