National Exhibition

Image: Elise Johnston

Diamond Jubilee 60th National Exhibition 2021

Otago Art Society, Dunedin Railway Station
23 October – 20 November 2021

After the very turbulent and unprecedented year 2020, we are all looking forward to the year 2021 with greater hopes for certainty and calm in our lives.

The prospect of vaccinations to combat the pandemic Covid-19 being rolled out in New Zealand in the near future encourages us to firm up plans for this year.

It was a great disappointment for me to have to cancel our very special exhibition here in Dunedin but it was the only option.

Now, picking up the threads again, I am very pleased to announce that the

60th National Diamond Jubilee Exhibition will be held in Dunedin in October 2021!

The exhibition will be held at the Otago Art Society in the historic Dunedin Railway Station. It is a delight to be able to hold the show in this architectural jewel, designed by architect George Troup and opened in 1906. With its striking exterior of the Flemish Renaissance Style it is a prominent architectural feature in the centre of Dunedin City. The interior is of special interest to the ceramophiles among us. Entering the booking hall you will be greeted with a mosaic floor with a locomotive  design at its centre and NZR logos around it. It is estimated to consist of approximately 750,000 Minton tiles. It looks none the worse for all the wear it must have seen over the 115 years of its existence. Lifting your eyes, a balcony surrounds the hall with a frieze of Cherubs surrounded by ornamentation, made by Royal Doulton in England. Of course there are embellished ticket windows as befits a proper railway station and all the walls are tiled. The whole ambience is that of warmth and sparkle and now without crowds from overseas you can see all of it in its full splendour!

If the exhibition alone were not reason enough to pay a visit, then our “Festival of Ceramics” will surely entice you to make Dunedin your destination for Labour Weekend 2021.

The awards night on 22 October will be followed by a gallery ‘walk about’ the next morning. The participating galleries will have their own ceramic/pottery shows on display, so you can expect to see a great variety of contemporary works. It is followed in the afternoon by a talk by the judge of the exhibition. Over the next couple of days on Labour Weekend the Ceramic Department at Otago Polytechnic will be holding demonstrations and other events. This is your chance to check out their brand new facilities. No wonder they have had such a sharp rise in their student intake this year. And there may be more ceramic events on offer.

In conjunction with our exhibition of contemporary works we are having a small ‘Heritage’ exhibition. The very first exhibition of New Zealand Studio Pottery was held here in Dunedin at the Otago Museum in 1957, so we thought it only proper to acknowledge it as it paved the way for the eventual formation of the New Zealand Society of Potters. Lots of research is going into this retrospective, and if anyone has material that refers to these early days and would like to share it we would very much welcome it.

More details will be posted over the coming months, but for the moment you can focus on your ‘oeuvres’ for submission.  Unleash your creative forces! Only one thing to take note of in your creative burst is that wall work or wall installations cannot be directly fixed to the walls of the gallery, as it is a heritage building. You can however attach it to a substrate as long as it falls within the weight and size restrictions of the gallery and can be hung from picture rails. If in doubt it would be best to direct your query to the Otago Art Society directly for advice: otagoartsociety@xtra.co.nz.

I will update you as things develop. In the meantime the Fusion 2010 team is busily organising this exciting event. We look forward to seeing you in October!

Nicole Kolig
Project Leader
60th National Diamond Jubilee Exhibition