Artwork shines light on NZ

23:25, Sep 19 2012
BIG BLUE SEA: New Zealand, with only Australia and neighbouring islands nearby for company, stands proud in the vast Pacific Ocean.

An international artwork described as defining New Zealand's place in the world will join the Auckland Art Gallery's public collection this weekend.

The large-scale photograph Ocean III by contemporary German artist Andreas Gursky will take its place in the gallery from Saturday.

It will be the first of his pieces to enter a public collection in New Zealand.

Ocean III is a view of the Pacific Ocean that measures 4.5m long and 2.5m high. It is the largest in a series of six photographs - one of two featuring New Zealand.

Gursky worked with high-definition satellite photographs that normally focus on the earth's landmasses.

Due to the absence of adequate mapping of the world's oceans, he recreated ocean zones himself after consulting shoal maps.

Gallery director Chris Saines says Gursky is a "giant in the contemporary art world".

"We are tremendously excited to be able to represent the work of such an important
international artist, even more so given the particular nature of its subject, which in one way serves to represent our place in the Pacific like no other work in a New Zealand public collection.

"The subject of Ocean III deals with a core strand of interest to New Zealand and Pacific audiences and artists - that great expanse of ocean that defines our position in the world. It features the islands of New Zealand at the edge of a seeming blue abyss. It is a remarkable reminder of our Oceanic and Pacific location, and a fascinating realisation of how great that limitless ocean around us really is".

The work will become the new cornerstone for the Gallery's international contemporary collection.

Regional Facilities Auckland chairman Sir Don McKinnon says securing Gursky's work further enhances the reputation of the award-winning gallery.

"It demonstrates the Gallery's continued dedication and commitment to bringing international art of an exceptional calibre not only to Auckland, but to the rest of New Zealand."


Auckland Now