We think of it as the jewel in Dunedin’s crown; the must-visit place in Dunedin’s must-visit Octagon: the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. For a small, southern New Zealand city, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery is one that is entirely worthy of the international acclaim it has earned.
A gallery that showcases local, national and international work, Dunedin locals should consider themselves lucky to have access to such a treasure trove of excellent art, that spans a number of decades and art movements. And with a regularly changing programme of national and international exhibitions, it’s the kind of place that doesn’t go stale; instead, it constantly evolves and constantly develops.
The gallery boasts an impressive permanent collection, featuring works from the 15th century onwards. Much of the collection is English and European, though Japanese prints and 19th, 20th and 21st century New Zealand art features, too. Best of all, the gallery has an impressive collection of works by celebrated local artist, Frances Hodgkins, that are permanently on display.
It’s no secret that impressive architecture supports impressive art, and that’s very true of Dunedin’s Public Art Gallery building. The architecturally modern, large-scale space is an impressive blank canvas for artistic display, and is particularly facilitative of brilliant art installation pieces. The airy, high-ceiling atrium of the gallery, from which art works are often suspended, is an appropriately magnificent welcome into the alluring environment.
As seems almost essential for any good art gallery, here there’s a very good gallery shop and a very good gallery café too. You might as well make a day of it.
1 - Dunedin Public Art Gallery ‘Big Wall’ installation
2 - Style & Substance: a journey through the collection, installation view
3 - Dunedin Public Art Gallery Playspace
4 - Style & Substance: a journey through the collection, installation view
5 - Neil Dawson, ‘Cones’, 2000
Written by Neat Places