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Star Gossage exhibition opens this weekend

28 April 2022

A collection of emotional and evocative paintings by acclaimed artist Star Gossage (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Ruanui) opens this weekend at Hamilton’s Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga O Waikato.

Spanning a 20-year period, Star Gossage: He Tangata The People is the first major survey of artworks by the Paakiri-based painter who lives and works on her family’s ancestral land.

Hamilton will be the final stop for the exhibition, on tour from the NZ Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata in Wellington, before the works are returned to various organisations and private collections that have loaned them for this display.

“Gossage works from a wahine-centred perspective, celebrating women’s ability to bring life and to weave and hold together the social fabric of community,” says Jaenine Parkinson, Director of NZ Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata.

“Her paintings also express the excruciating beauty and colour of where Gossage is from, and of the people in her life.”

A public talk within the gallery at 11am on Saturday 30 April will provide insight to the artworks on display.

“It is a privilege to host this exhibition showcasing the strength of Maaori women painters and contemporary personal views of whaanau and community.

“In addition, we’re thrilled that Tim Melville will be joining us for the opening day of Star Gossage: He Tangata The People,” says Liz Cotton, Director of Museum and Arts, Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

“As well as being a renowned gallerist and art dealer, known for championing Maaori, Pasifika and indigenous Australian artists, Tim is a personal friend of Star’s. He’ll be sharing how they met and started working together, as well as discussing some of her beautiful works in this exhibition.”

Star Gossage: He Tangata The People highlights Gossage’s use of portrait and figure in the landscape, and expresses the view that people are bound by wairua, whenua, whakapapa and whānau – spirit, land, ancestry and family. In portraying her day-to-day reality, themes of unity, grief, resilience, and aroha/love emerge.

The exhibition features more than 30 paintings and installation of painted boxes, and a small number of painted ceramics, covering 20 years of Gossage’s artistic practice.