THE ART OF DEATH - ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
It’s the 21st century and taxidermy is fashionable once more. Gone are the days where gentleman hunters were mounting the spoils of their morbid excursions, this Victorian art-form is currently experiencing a female-led resurgence that has a reverence for wildlife and conservation at its heart. It is this renewed interest in the art of taxidermy that The Metropolitan Club, in association with Hendrick’s Gin and Highwic, supported by Heritage NZ and the Auckland Museum, will explore in The Art of Death from the 14th August – 27th October 2019.
The Art of Death is a multi-disciplinary exhibition by seven female artists which will transform the rooms of historic gothic mansion Highwic, into curious new settings. Supported by a programme of experiential activations, the exhibition will explore the the curious life affirming possibilities found in death, interrogate the macabre and its spectrum of gothic aesthetics as well as examining attitudes toward death, mourning and commemoration through creative cultural and social practices from the Victorian era to today.
Beyond enjoying these specially created installations, visitors can go ‘beyond the ropes’ and get up close and personal by taking an introductory taxidermy class, trying their hand at life drawings’ mysterious dark twin ‘Death Drawing’ with renowned artist Paris Kirby, attend a Hendrick’s Gin tea cup cocktail party or absinthe tasting, meet the artists at an afternoon salon or get the kids involved in a garden bug hunting art workshop
The exhibition will take visitors from taxidermy of the past, with a display of historical pieces from the Auckland Museum’s collection not normally on public display including a jaguar, badger, wombat and bear, as well as items from Highwic’s own collection, to the present, with room installations by artists Antoinette Ratcliffe, Karley Feaver, Hayley Theyers, Sophie MacDonnell, Jane Thorne, Paola King-Borrero and Kate Rampling. The Art of Death exhibition hopes that the experience of taxidermy and other death related art forms, combined with multi-sensory events and experiences, will encourage us all to live fully by exploring our own ideas of mortality.
This thoroughly modern take on this historical art-form will run from the 14th September – 27th October, at Highwic. Entry to the exhibition is $10 which goes towards the preservation and upkeep of this important Heritage NZ property.
Highwic is located at 40 Gillies Ave, Epsom, Auckland 1023 and is open Wednesday to Sunday 10.30am – 4.30pm.