Matiu Somes, 26Sep-27Oct, Wellington

The exhibition Matiu Somes: The Next Chapter is opening
at Solander Gallery in Wellington on 26 September.

The artists featured in the exhibition are Stanley Palmer, Inge Doesburg,
Lynn Taylor, Jo Ogier, Ben Reid, Basia Smolnicki and Stephen Robinson.

Ben Reid, always to islanders, danger is what comes over the sea, 2012
Woodblock, 36x53cm

Matiu/Somes Island, in the middle of Wellington’s harbour (Te Whanganui a Tara),
has an extraordinarily rich and complex history.
From its original naming after one of Kupe’s female relatives
to its later European use as a quarantine station, internment camp, military installation
and now nature reserve, its relatively small area is packed with stories.

The artists' residency project on Matiu/Somes grew out of Solander Gallery’s desire
to bring together artists from all around Aotearoa New Zealand
and expose them to the fascinating natural and cultural histories of the island.
It was felt that the depth and diversity of the Island
was largely unknown or ignored by the people of Wellington.

Artists often take what others overlook
and probe to bring to life hidden, forgotten or disregarded stories.
The singular visions and different approaches of the seven artists involved
realise the possibility that all may draw inspiration from this unique place.

"The island opened to the public as a
Department of Conservation (DOC) scientific and historic reserve in 1995.
In 2009, it was included in the Treaty of Waitangi cultural redress
for Taranaki Whanui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika A Maui,
which returned ownership of the three Wellington harbour islands to iwi.
While still protected by reserve status, accessible to the public, and managed by DOC,
their future will be directed by a joint governance board composed of iwi, community, and DOC".
(Department of Conservation Website)