29/05/2019 12:00:00 a.m.
29 May 2019
My Choice is a new exhibition series to be staged by the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. As indicated by the name, the My Choice exhibitions will each be selected by various people from, or with a connection to, Whanganui and the Sarjeant.
The inaugural My Choice exhibition has been selected by Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall and will run from 18 May to 25 August 2019 at Sarjeant on the Quay. This first exhibition launches what will be an ongoing series, with the following My Choice exhibitions being staged virtually via the My Choice tab in the Explore the Collection portal on the Sarjeant’s website.
Jennifer Taylor Moore, Curator of Collections, says the intention with My Choice is for a wide variety of people to share the artworks from the Sarjeant’s permanent collection which they love or engages them in some way.
“We want to demystify the world of art a bit more and show that people enjoy the Gallery collection for all sorts of reasons – whether it’s purely visually appealing, has political or historic significance or means something to them personally,” says Taylor Moore.
“We hope people will come to the Sarjeant to see what Mayor Hamish has selected, but also that they will look at the follow-up My Choice series on the Sarjeant website from September 2019 onwards”
The Sarjeant Gallery’s digital portal ‘Explore the Collection’, gives the public direct access to the entire Sarjeant collection of over eight thousand, three hundred works and allows people to search by artist, object type, country of origin or even by colour.
Mayor McDouall came up with the idea of choosing works from the collection when thinking about ways to promote the best things about Whanganui.
“Two years ago I was thinking I should find a way to celebrate things I loved about Whanganui and I was joking around about selecting one hundred favourite paintings and so I approached the Sarjeant to see if I could make a selection for an exhibition”
Mayor McDouall has chosen a diverse selection – from a 1919 Italian painting of medieval towers, to an iconic Michael Illingworth piece to more contemporary works.
“I wish I could have had a choice of one hundred but I chose a small selection which I thought were fairly representative of the different kind of styles I like. Some I have a personal connection to, some make me think.”
“Since I came back to Whanganui in 2008 the Sarjeant has been a real totem for my family and I. We have loved seeing more and more of the collection and to be able to look through the sculpture and painting store and select works that resonate was a real excitement for me.”
The Explore the Collection portal is a digital ‘deep dive’ into the Sarjeant’s permanent collection and has been developed with Vernon Systems who have since showcased the collection portal all over the world. Explore the Collection is an example of how open source internet search mechanisms can be employed to create an award winning and comprehensive digital collection resource.