2007 past exhibitions
Ngā whakaaturanga 2007

Past exhibitions that opened in 2007 – from The Scots in New Zealand to Whales |Tohorā.

On this page:
The Poisoners!
Flowers and Foliage
James Nairn: A Scottish impressionist in Wellington
The Scots in New Zealand
Mary-Annette Hay: Queen of Wool
Whales | Tohorā

The Poisoners!

Dates: 1 Jan – 1 Dec 2007
Cost: Free entry

This murder-mystery exhibition featured over 250 specimens and props – an assortment of weird and wonderful species not usually on display.

Fascinating specimens provided the backdrop to the dangerous world of The Poisoners!, in which visitors could solve a murder mystery. Who did away with brilliant scientist and ecologist Professor Felix Splicer? Families ventured into each of the four suspects’ lairs to solve puzzles, collect the clues, and find out which of the four twisted suspects committed the murder and with what.

Flowers and Foliage

Dates: 22 Feb – 23 Aug 2007
Cost: Free entry

This exhibition showcased two portfolios of photographs: one by the celebrated and often controversial American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, the other by Wellington photographer Peter Black.

Both photographers created images of nature controlled and restrained. Mapplethorpe’s flower photographs are elegant, luxurious, and sophisticated. They are perfect specimens in the studio, cleaned up and isolated from nature in the wild.

In contrast, Black documents how trees and plants are used and constrained in the wider urban environment. The nature he portrays is more untidy than Mapplethorpe’s, but his images reveal that people’s everyday treatment of plants is no less controlling than that of a studio photographer like Mapplethorpe.

James Nairn: A Scottish impressionist in Wellington

Dates: 16 Aug 2007 – 1 Feb 2008
Cost: Free entry

Scots artist James McLachlan Nairn brought much-needed freshness and vitality to New Zealand painting in the 15 years he lived here. This selection of his works was presented in conjunction with the Community Gallery exhibition The Scots in New Zealand.

Nairn strongly identified with his Scots background, and was often seen wearing a kilt and playing the pipes at the Wellington Art Club’s headquarters in Silverstream in the Hutt Valley.

Nairn was a firm believer in the ‘plein air’ style of painting, working outdoors directly from nature. He urged his followers ‘to paint the thing as one sees it’. In a lecture in 1892, he said, ‘If we want art, we must begin at the point where all great artists have begun – the study of nature from life or outside.’

The Scots in New Zealand

Dates: 18 Aug 2007 – 21 Feb 2010
Cost: Free entry

This exhibition told the stories of the Scots in New Zealand through a selection of intriguing objects, images, and short films. The people behind the stories ranged from farmers, architects, and engineers, to charismatic church leaders, a Scottish lad who became prime minister, and feisty women who fought for the vote. Contemporary stories featured curlers, artists, musicians, bricklayers, and teachers.

The Scots in New Zealand celebrated one of this country’s most widespread migrant groups.

Visit The Scots in New Zealand (link is external) to see highlights from the exhibition.

Mary-Annette Hay: Queen of Wool

Dates: 21 Sep – 22 Dec 2007
Cost: Free entry

To take the wonder of wool to the nation! That was Mary-Annette Burgess’ mission as the New Zealand Wool Board’s director of promotions. Burgess made inspired use of the Wool Board’s collection of post-war designer wool garments. She developed a unique form of wool promotion using the glamorous gowns and beautifully tailored daywear seen in this exhibition.

Starting with a fashion floor show at the Plunket Ball in Wellington in 1948, she went on to write, direct, and narrate a series of spectacular productions on the theme of wool – its history and particular qualities. The garments presented through dramatised stories dazzled audiences throughout the country and generated unprecedented publicity for wool and the work of the Wool Board.

Whales | Tohorā

Dates: Dec 2007 – May 2008
Cost: Free entry

This exhibition explored one of the world’s largest collections of whales – Te Papa’s – through a unique blend of science and storytelling. It included a rich array of enormous whale skeletons, a ‘build a dolphin’ interactive feature, and more.

The exhibition told stories about whales, from cultural myths through to the history of whaling.

Visit Whales | Tohorā (link is external) to listen to myths and stories about whales, and find out more about whale evolution.