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"I am delighted that Bill Culbert has accepted our invitation to go to Venice in 2013. He makes marvellous work, constantly reinvestigating how light works and refreshing how we think of it," 2013 Venice Biennale commissioner Jenny Harper said yesterday.
"He has lived away from New Zealand for some years, but returns regularly and continues to have a dynamic presence in this country's visual arts. Without doubt, he is one of our leading senior artists. Venice is a wonderful platform for us both to celebrate his individual achievements and to continue to present the richness of this country's visual arts practice." Creative New Zealand will contribute $650,000 to the six-month exhibition, which includes a fee to help Culbert with the cost of making and shipping his work to Venice.
The 76-year-old sculptor, photographer and installation artist was born in Port Chalmers, and left New Zealand in 1957 to study at the Royal College of Art in London, where he won a silver medal for painting.
He lives and works in Provence, France, and London, England.
Culbert works in sculpture, installation and photography and is known for his experimentation with light, using materials like light bulbs, lamp shades, fluorescent tubes and plastic bottles, wine glasses and suitcases.
He has held more than 100 solo exhibitions in New Zealand, England, Europe, the United States and Australia since 1960, and many more group exhibitions.
His collaboration with Ralph Hotere, Pathway to the Sea - Aramoana, is on display at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery until November 20.
Culbert will visit the 54th biennale later this month to view sites.