Artist Profile: Priscilla Lowry

We recently had the pleasure of listening to Priscilla Lowry speak about her textile works, which were exhibited in the group show Written in Thread along with Ailie Snow and Priscilla Evans. Check out the video that was filmed by our Media Producer, Amelia Harris, below:

Priscilla Lowry trained as a Home Economics teacher, specialising in textiles and gained her BA from Auckland University majoring in Art History and Education. She was the owner and director of Gallery St John in Remuera which focused on hand worked silk, exhibiting everything from tiny exquisite items to wearable art. This period was followed by seventeen years in the UK where for six years she was the Director of the Schuster Gallery which specialized in illuminated manuscripts. During this time she obtained her MA in Medieval History from London University. This was followed by almost constant travelling in the UK and abroad, teaching and giving lectures and workshops on working with silk. Concurrently, she wrote two books published in the UK on the history of silk and a third book, The World of Silk on her return to NZ. For the last ten years she has been teaching Medieval History at Auckland University and has continued to give talks and workshops, and judge for major exhibitions of textiles. Her solo exhibition at Northart was entitled Silk: Deconstructed: Reconstructed which was followed by a shared exhibition with Joan Taylor in 2013 at the Depot Artspace, called Off the Wall, again focusing on silk in its many and diverse forms.

Commemorating Barry Brickell (1935-2016)

Today we acknowledge the one year anniversary of the passing of our dear friend, potter, painter, engineer, railway enthusiast, conservationist, writer, wrerter, vernacularist, cultural icon – Barry Brickell (26 October 1935 – 23 January 2016)

Read Linda Blincko’s commemorative piece on Barry and his unique philosophy, his way of living in the world, ‘It’s not the thing but how’ here:

You’ll find the Cultural Icon’s episode with Barry Brickell here:

Invitation to fans of Fairburn – Read a poem for our video series

As part of our inaugural 2017 exhibition Fairburn Rocks, we are planning a video series of people reading their favourite A.R.D. Fairburn poem as a tribute to one of our most significant poets.

If you have a favourite Fairburn work you’d love to share, please contact Amelia, zn.oc1493436924.ecap1493436924strat1493436924oped@1493436924sirra1493436924h.ail1493436924ema1493436924 to find out how you can participate.

Linda Gair reads ‘Jack the Ripper’ by A.R.D. Fairburn from Strange Rendezvous.


Three Career Questions to Ponder over Summer



The ArtsLab Consulting team understand that summer can be a time for reflection, particularly about your career and what makes you happy and fulfilled. Here are three questions to ponder over whilst enjoying a cool drink in the sun, swimming at the beach, or barbecuing to your heart’s content.

What Am I Most Curious About in Life? Often, the things we are curious about have the potential to translate into a job. For example, a recent client shared a story of how when he was a child he would make his mum pause the cartoon DVDs he watched so he could draw the characters. He’s now a 2D animator. Follow your curiosity and interests, but realise that you do not know what will interest you unless you try new things. Make the summer of 2017 the summer of trying new things.

What Sort Of A World Do I Want to Help Create? Many career decisions stem from a desire to meet our own wants and needs. It’s possible to re-frame our decisions towards asking what the world needs and how we might go about offering our strengths in a spirit of service.

What Are My Non-Negotiables? We all know that every job has its own set of advantages and disadvantages and that we all make compromises with our choice of paid work; however, is your current role draining you of your life energy and is it worth it? Taking the time to figure out what your top values are makes career decisions much easier. If you would like to make a fresh start in the New Year, the ArtsLab team is here and ready to help.

Happy Holidays and come say hi in the New Year!

Rembrandt Remastered Coming Soon!

The Rembrandt Remastered exhibition will be at the Depot Artspace very soon! Opening on Monday 19 December, we are excited to host the internationally celebrated travelling exhibition.  Laine Moger from the North Shore Times caught up with our manager Lynn Lawton, you can read the article here.


Monday 19 December 2016 to Sunday 19 February 2017

Open Daily from 10:30am – 4pm

(except 25 & 26 December and 1 & 2 January)

Entry: Adults – $10

Child 12 & under – $5

(to cover exhibition costs).

Changes in the Galleries for 2017

Depot Galleries: The Importance and Necessity of Change

The Depot is prone to neither whimsy nor reactivity. Change is made consciously and as a result of careful analysis of many factors: demographics, both local and national; economics; politics; trends in art and art sales; changes and diversity in arts markets.

Next year we are welcoming the return of the Vernacular Lounge, replacing Small Dog, whose role will be partly fulfilled by the Art Room where member artists will be able to exhibit work throughout the year. We are aware that many artists do not have the work to mount a complete exhibition, and that some would like to maintain an ongoing presence in Devonport and build their relationship with the community.

The Vernacular Lounge is reintroduced in response to an increasing interest in an evolving Aotearoa New Zealand cultural identity, especially as big business, intensive urbanisation, globalisation affect our environment, heritage and history. The following website documents the danger in which heritage is placed.

The Vernacular Lounge

The Vernacular Lounge is an intimate living room which sheds a light on the influences that shape Aotearoa New Zealand’s evolving and distinctive cultural identity as defined by its art, architecture, literature, film and other cultural forms. In a contemporary, globalised context the vernacular is an even more important component of the Depot’s raison d’etre. The ‘lounge’, while not peculiar to New Zealand, is traditionally and typically the social hub of the New Zealand home and it is in this spirit and form that the Vernacular Lounge will host and initiate exhibitions, publications, events and showcases, that explore and develop our cultural vernacular.

Events and exhibitions in the Vernacular Lounge have included tributes to Don Binney and Ralph Hotere, an exhibition of vernacular architecture and a history of peace protests in New Zealand. They have explicitly or implicitly explored the question; in the midst of diversity, is there an elusive quality, a ‘national identity’, which binds us all?

Coming up in the Vernacular Lounge: Fairburn Rocks

Next year we are excited to welcome to the Vernacular Lounge cultural icon A.R.D  Fairburn, arguably one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant poets. This, our inaugural exhibition, Fairburn Rocks will feature his rare rock drawing panels hand-blocked on to fabric by the Devonport poet and artist A.R.D. Fairburn in the 1950s. It will be held in the Vernacular Room at the Depot Artspace in Devonport in March 2017, to mark the 60th anniversary of his premature death in March 1957.

An interview with artist Suzanne Thornley

Suzanne Thornley’s exhibition Yves Tanguy Revisited finishes on Tuesday 13 December. We talk to her about her work, the influence of Yves Tanguy, and being “smitten with emotion”.

Q. You are directly influenced by Yves Tanguy – what is it about the French Surrealist that inspires you?

A. Yes, Tanguy inspires me because his forms are totally fascinating, especially in his exploration of sculptural and spatial ideas on a formal level. The idea of the work itself is poetic, enigmatic and mysterious. Totally beautiful and inspiring.

Q. What were you like before his influence?

A. I’m very individual and have many influences – not just Yves Tanguy. I find visual art of the turn of the 20th Century revolutionary, and this period in time for me is most influential.

Q. Where/when did your relationship with art begin?

A. When I was very young, my father, who was an art teacher, showed me some paintings of Delacroix horses. From then on I was totally smitten with the emotion that was displayed in these works and influenced me from then on.

Q. Your work seems to be very sculptural – where do you think these forms come from?

A. I have always been interested in the sensual tactile world of three-dimensional art. It doesn’t necessarily come from anyone or any place specifically.

Q. You use a mixture of pencil, watercolour and gouache? It’s quite unusual. Could you tell us a little about what these materials are like to work with? Do you call them paintings, drawings or watercolours?

A. The materials I use directly influence the outcome of my work; pencil to render volume and mass watercolour for ephemeral background suggesting sea or sky. I use three different processes in the making of one work. I don’t really mind which one you use to name the painting.

Q. What drives you to make work? What does art give you?

A. I think I was born with the ability. It just seems second nature to make art. I have been making art from 12 years of age. It is a release from what is going on inside and marks the spiritual side of human nature.

Q. What makes you different from Tanguy?

A. Yves Tanguy’s work is Surrealism – not all my work is influenced by Surrealism. I work with different ideas and materials.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

A. My aunt, who is a practising professional artist, says “it is a lonely path being an artist. When you see your art displayed in a show – it is the only true real happiness you can experience.” I found a connection with other artists through this comment.


ArtsLab Consulting: Animation College visit

Last week we had the pleasure of visiting Animation College, where Lila Pulsford from our ArtsLab Consulting team gave a presentation on Job Search Strategies to final year students. It was great meeting all the friendly students who asked lots of intelligent questions, and the incredibly welcoming staff.

For any careers advice, mentoring in the creative industries and more, please check out what ArtsLab Consulting has to offer here.


Exhibition openings: Clay Voices and Yves Tanguy Revisited

A great turnout on Saturday 26 November for the opening of Claybenders: Clay Voices and Suzanne Thornley: Yves Tanguy Revisited. A big thanks to the artists and everyone who came to have a look at our last exhibitions of 2016!

Photographs courtesy of Margaret Bray


Juliet Jackson: NZ Outsider Art Fair in Pocket Gallery

We are pleased to have Juliet Jackson’s ceramics in a pop-up exhibition in our Pocket Gallery. Originally a painter, Jackson became blind in 2009 and has since learnt to explore art through her other senses. Using touch, Jackson began working with sculpture and ceramics, creating compelling and visually arresting works.

This exhibition is in association with NZ Outsider Art Fair 2016Special thanks to Toi Ora Live Art Trust for their work in organising this exhibition. Catch Jackson’s stunning work on display until this Sunday 27 November.

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