BurqaBabe (2012) is one of nine oil on board paintings in
the forthcoming "Heather Straka: Playdate" exhibition at
the Nadene Milne Gallery, Arrowtown, opening on November
23. Photo supplied.
Provocative Christchurch artist Heather Straka will
discuss how cultural imagery has been appropriated into Western
painting before opening her new exhibition in Arrowtown next
The artist presents nine oil on board paintings in "Heather
Straka: Playdate" at the Nadene Milne Gallery.
Straka is hailed as one of New Zealand's most accomplished
mid-career artists. She was the 2008 Frances Hodgkins Fellow
and the 2011 William Hodges Fellow.
Her work is included in all major public and private
collections in New Zealand and she has exhibited widely
nationally and internationally. Her public gallery touring
show "The Asian" was exhibited to great acclaim.
Before taking up painting as a full-time career, Straka
worked as a sculptor in the 1990s and was an assistant to
artist Julia Morison. She said she converted to painting when
she visited a retrospective on surrealist painter Rene
Magritte in Belgium.
Ms Milne said this week Straka's practice focused on
producing highly finished contemporary paintings which
referenced the traditional genres of portrait, landscape and
"Her works often relate to themes of sexual identity,
cultural politics and often include appropriated cultural
imagery portrayed in a humorous way," the gallery owner said.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an art talk titled
"Lost in Translation: Cultural Appropriation in the Arts".
"The floor talk will contribute to the ongoing dialogue and
debate that has been generated by the artist's provocative
and culturally assimilated paintings," Ms Milne said.
"Heather Straka will participate in the talk that will
include a discussion on aspects of her practice."
The lecture will be held at Dorothy Brown's Cinema on Friday,
November 23 at 7pm. Booking is recommended as places are
limited (phone (03) 442-1964). An entry fee of $8 per person
will cover cinema costs.
• "Heather Straka: Playdate" opens at the gallery (which is
next door to the cinema) at 7.45pm and runs until December 9.
Picks of the week
• 3pm and 7pm: Extra chances to watch the Wakatipu's golden
history on the silver screen when historical films are
replayed in the Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall.
Cheryl Collie will accompany on piano. Footage from the
re-enactment of the discovery of gold on the bank of the
Arrow River is also on the bill. Entry $5 on the door.
• 7.30pm: The Australian comedian, Heath Franklin, as
colourful Melbourne criminal Mark "Chopper" Read sets the
world to rights in the Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall.
Tickets $36.90-$39.90 plus booking fee, from Lakes Leisure