MAHARA GALLERY WELCOMES NEW AGREEMENT FOR AN INTERGRATED PUBLIC LIBRARY AND GALLERY SPACE
A facility combining the Waikanae Public Library and Mahara Gallery is a step closer to becoming reality.
A renewed agreement between the Kapiti Coast District Council, the Mahara Gallery Trust and the Field Collection Trust was signed in the full council meeting last Thursday. The project aims to deliver an integrated facility, and a “distinctive, iconic building”, in Waikanae. The new facility would provide a permanent home for the Field Collection which includes paintings by New Zealand-born artist Frances Hodgkins, her family and associates.
"An upgraded Mahara Gallery would be the "jewel in the crown" of the Council's plans for Waikanae to become a cultural precinct within the Kapiti District. The project has been ranked by the Council as one of its most significant current projects." - The Mahara Gallery Trust Board
THE FIELD COLLECTION PROVIDES KAPITI WITH A NATIONALLY-SIGNIFICANT ART TREASURE
"The Field Collection is a collection of 44 works, 24 of them by Frances Hodgkins (1869-1947), considered New Zealand’s most significant expatriate artist. It is the largest collection of Hodgkins' work outside Te Papa and city collections in Dunedin, Auckland, and Christchurch.
The Kapiti connection is the result of Frances’ sister Isabel marrying local land-owner, businessman and MP, William Field.
The collection has been gifted to Mahara Gallery, provided it can provide the infrastructure needed to store and display such an important collection of art works.
Curator and former NZ Portrait Gallery Director Avenal McKinnon says of the Field Collection:
Within this core of twenty-four works is found the essential early Frances Hodgkins from which her later work would spring. … As a collection these paintings should never be underestimated for what they reveal to us about the nature of her beginnings as an artist, her complex relationship with her family – especially her sister Isabel, and the artistic taste of New Zealand during her lifetime."
- Extract from Mahara Gallery. 'Creating a District Art Gallery for the Kapiti Coast.'