Spreading branches bearing gold

Dunedin Public Art Gallery curator Lucy Hammonds stands under Reuben Paterson’s recently...
Dunedin Public Art Gallery curator Lucy Hammonds stands under Reuben Paterson’s recently installed sculpture, titled The Golden Bearing. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Money may not grow on trees, but it appears gold is growing on this one.

The Dunedin Public Art Gallery exhibitions team have spent the past week undertaking the massive job of unpacking and installing Reuben Paterson’s The Golden Bearing.

Curatorial intern Simon Palenski said the glittery sculpture would be part of a new, family-focused exhibition called Beyond the Hedge, which takes a journey through the collection, by way of folk tales, faerie tales, myths and legends.

Taking the form of a tree, The Golden Bearing first took root in New Plymouth’s botanical gardens, where Paterson was inspired by the highly formal environments of public and private gardens.

The sculpture also draws from his Maori family and cultural heritage, his father’s work as a landscape gardener, and his own prior exploration of plants and artificial flowers in his work.

Mr Palenski said a bearing marked a position or direction on a map, or could act as a landmark.

‘‘And up on the first floor, The Golden Bearing’s canopy will reach out over the entrance and foyer, and be visible through the windows from a wintry Octagon for the next few months.’’

He said Beyond the Hedge was one of a series of new exhibitions opening at the gallery soon.

They included On the table: Artists in the Jim Barr and Mary Barr collection; a collaboration with artists Nick Austin, Ruth Buchanan, Yona Lee and Marie Shannon; Christopher Ulutupu’s video installation The Fall made during a Dunedin residency; Lyttelton-based painter Oliver Perkins’ A Kind of Arrow and its partner work Free-Range; and In, On, Over, prompted by Perkins’ exhibition, and looks at a group of works from the collection that explore different artistic methods and approaches to abstraction.


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