Previous Exhibitions

November 2018 - Rag and Bottle Shop: New works by Kirsty Gardiner

For the month of November 2018, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting Rag and Bottle Shop - new works by Kirsty Gardiner.   



Artist's Statement

“This exhibition, Rag and Bottle Shop, is inspired by French and English porcelain and objects collected over time.


Imagine an op shop in New Zealand at the end of the 19th century. The ‘Rag and Bottle Shop’ was London’s equivalent; mudlarking along the Thames would have been the next best option.


Around this time huia were already an endangered species (the last official sighting was in 1907). Many homes would have mounted birds in glass domes in the parlour. High tea was a regular event, and the best tea service would come out for guests.


I have endeavoured to make some of these items, with a twist of my own. They are whimsical yet serious: the drinking bowl cannot hold water and the Bird Dolls express the passing of the huia from our forests.


I like to think of the work as a trans-cultural mix of myths, ceramic archetypes and, of course, extinct birds.”


Exhibition commentary

While Kirsty Gardiner is well known locally for her ceramic huia and moths, this month’s exhibition is a more wide-ranging showcase of the artist’s extensive practice.


Rag and Bottle Shop comprises a medley of objects d’art, inspired by ideas from history, fantasy and ornithology, as well as the artist’s imaginings as to what one visiting a 1900 New Zealand second-hand shop might have discovered inside.


The works are predominantly wheel thrown altered and hand-made forms, incorporating mid fire porcelain and textile.


The exhibition also features a stunning large porcelain centrepiece: a wall-mounted installation of 29 South Island kokako, 130 cm in diameter.


The South Island kokako is one of five New Zealand wattlebirds (the others being the extinct huia, two species of saddlebacks, and the North Island kokako).


South Island kokako are slightly smaller and darker than their North Island counterparts, with orange rather than blue facial wattles. Their numbers declined markedly after the introduction of cats, ship rats and stoats, with the last accepted 20th century sighting being at Mt Aspiring National Park in 1967.


Declared extinct by the Department of Conservation in 2008, in 2013 the species' conservation status was moved from extinct to “data deficient”, based on a claimed sighting in 2007 near Reefton on the West Coast.


Kirsty Gardiner - artist bio

Kirsty Gardiner has exhibited throughout New Zealand for over 20 years. This is the artist’s second solo show at ZIMMERMAN.


Gardiner’s ceramic sculptures are influenced by her childhood, French and English porcelain, Lewis Carroll (the father of nonsense literature), natural history and the collections with which she came into contact while working for eight years as a gallery technician for Aratoi Museum of Art and History in Masterton.


Gardiner’s works have been selected multiple times for The Portage Ceramic Awards, New Zealand’s most prestigious ceramics prize. In 2010, Gardiner’s work received the coveted Premier Award.


In 2013 Gardiner won the Friends of Aratoi Award, and in 2015 Gardiner secured the Excellence Award in the New Zealand Society of Potter Elements exhibition.


Gardiner’s work has also been twice selected for the James Wallace Art Awards.


In 2012-2013, Kirsty’s exhibition Portmanteau: A Cabinet of Curiosities toured the lower North Island, with showings at Aratoi, Expressions (Upper Hutt) and Te Manawa (Palmerston North).


Earlier this year, Kirsty has had two public art gallery exhibitions: Remnants, Remains at Aratoi, and Rag and Bottle Shop at Pataka in Porirua.


The exhibition “Rag and Bottle Shop” is at ZIMMERMAN until 30 November 2018.