Hore gown show could be springboard

A model in one of the Eden Hore Collection of gowns at Poolburn Dam. Photo: Derek Henderson/Supplied
A model in one of the Eden Hore Collection of gowns at Poolburn Dam. Photo: Derek Henderson/Supplied
An exhibition in Lower Hutt of 25 gowns amassed by high country farmer Eden Hore could serve as a springboard to greater national recognition of the collection.

At the final meeting of the Central Otago District Council (CODC) in Alexandra on Wednesday councillors were updated on the "Eden Hore: High Fashion/High Country" exhibition, which opened at the Dowse Art Museum on December 3 and runs to March 20.

The exhibition celebrates the collection of Mr Hore, a Naseby farmer who collected more than 200 couture gowns and turned his tractor shed into a fashion museum in the 1970s.

CODC community and engagement manager Paula Penno told councillors the purpose of the exhibition was to raise awareness of the collection at a national level and get it "in front of" potential funding agencies and funders to help with future ideas and projects.

"The other thing we wanted to do up there is test our storyline and our idea of tying up and connecting in Eden Hore the man, the collection of garments and the face into a combined storyline."

The feedback from the opening night of the exhibition was people were impressed by the garments but more so the story.

"They really loved the story about Eden Hore, the high country farmer in Central Otago."

In terms of the future promotion of the collection the story sold itself.

"Eden Hore plus Central Otago add up to a magical proposition that genuinely engages people."

Coinciding with the exhibition would be "pop-up" displays of eight images of the garments worn by models in a Central Otago landscapes from a photo shoot by Derek Henderson and a video of the photo shoot itself.

The displays would start in Naseby on December 26 and move to Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery in mid-January and discussions were under way to find more locations, Ms Penno said.

Ms Penno proposed the establishment of a trust, the Eden Hore Central Otago Charitable Trust, to continue to care for the collection.

In the interim, the goal was to authorise the continuation of the Eden Hore Central Otago steering group for a second term, through to the end of 2023.

The steering group has Mayor Tim Cadogan as the chairman and has guided the council in the development of a strategic directive for Eden Hore Central Otago.

Mr Cadogan said the members of the group were "top class" and had a collective passion for the garments, the story and the project.

"We could never come close to what we have achieved without them on basically beyond a shoestring — it’s a frayed shoestring budget.

"People get captured by this story."

Councillors agreed to the steering group continuing and approved the establishment of a charitable trust for project donations and bequests.

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