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Unnerved: The New Zealand Project

Michael Parekowhai 'Kapa Haka (Whero)' 2003

Michael Parekowhai | New Zealand b.1968 | Kapa Haka (Whero) 2003 | Automotive paint on fibreglass | 188 x 60 x 50cm | Purchased 2009 with funds from Tim Fairfax, AM, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Queensland Art Gallery | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Unnerved: The New Zealand Project

Curated and toured by the Queensland Art Gallery, ‘Unnerved’ explores a rich and dark vein found in New Zealand contemporary art as reflected through more than 100 works. Psychological or physical unease pervades many works in the exhibition, with humour, parody and poetic subtlety among the strategies used by artists across generations and genres.

‘Unnerved’ showcases works from the Queensland Art Gallery’s collection – the largest holding of contemporary New Zealand art outside that country. Included in the exhibition are many works acquired by the Queensland Art Gallery since the early 1990s through the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art exhibition series.

Major sculptures by Michael Parekowhai, installations by Lisa Reihana and Michael Stevenson and photographic series by Yvonne Todd, Anne Noble and Greg Semu feature alongside video art by Sriwhana Spong and Nathan Pohio.

The richly illustrated publication, bringing together more than 120 works by over 30 artists, from the late 1960s to the present includes a strong focus on photography and moving-image works. Essays explore the work of each artist, while lead essays by Maud Page, Senior Curator, Pacific Art, and Wystan Curnow, Professor of English at the University of Auckland, examine New Zealand’s contemporary artistic practice in terms of complex traditions and histories, as well as a changing social, political and cultural landscape. 

‘Unnerved’ was exhibited at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane from 1 May – 4 July 2010


National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
26 November 2010 – 27 February 2011