A film by Gavin Hipkins based on the novel by Samuel Butler, presented in conjunction with the exhibition, Gavin Hipkins: The Homely II. This will be the first cinematic screening of Erewhon in Auckland since it debuted at the New Zealand International Film Festival and the Edinburgh Art Festival in 2014.

Tickets available here

"Butler’s poetic meditations on the industrial period, and colonial expansion, remain a timely reflection on contemporary society and our technological dependencies." Gavin Hipkins

"Photographer Gavin Hipkins’ first feature-length film is a moving-picture essay, replete with his fine-textured images of the natural world – and the often forlorn evidence of humanity’s passage through it. Hipkins draws his themes from Samuel Butler’s utopian satire Erewhon: Or, Over the Range, published in 1872. Butler had worked on a South Island high country sheep station and it’s easy to suppose that his objectification of a wholly invented ‘native people’ is an ironic posture owing something to his experience in colonial New Zealand. Likewise his concerns with the coming dominance of industry chime eerily with contemporary concerns: vegetarianism is the law in Erewhon and machines have been banished to museums for fear of their becoming conscious. On the soundtrack Mia Blake reads from the book, while Hipkins’ imagery seems to fill in the years since, finding the persistence of Butler’s themes in the New Zealand landscape. His imagery seems so finely etched in the greenness and dampness and reflected light of Aotearoa, it’s surprising to learn that he also shot extensively in Queensland and Northern India." (2014 NZIFF)

BIOGRAPHY: Gavin Hipkins is a Titirangi-based artist who works with photography and film. His practice engages postcolonial, architectural, and commodity discourses via a range of analogue and digital technologies, photo-installations, and artist videos. In 2010 he started making fragmented narrative films that frequently call on nineteenth-century references. He adapts these writings to contemporary settings. His projects explore a cinematic art that blurs definable genres between drama, documentary, essay film, and experimental narrative structures. He represented New Zealand at the 1998 Sydney Biennale and the 2002 Sao Paulo Biennale. He was the recipient of the inaugural residency for New Zealand artists at Artspace Sydney, in 1998. In 2006 he completed an artist’s residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York, and in 2007 completed the McCahon Residency in Auckland. His work is included in major public and private collections including the Queensland Art Gallery, the Auckland Art Gallery, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, and George Eastman Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, New York.

NARRATOR: Mia Blake MUSIC: Rachel Shearer SOUND: Ben Sinclair and Chris Todd

The artist acknowledges the generous support of Creative New Zealand and Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland.

Doors and bar open 7pm, programme starts 7.30pm, Erewhon is 92 minutes and will be followed by a live Q’n’A with Gavin.


  • $10


  • Sat 27 Apr


  • 7:30 pm — 9:30 pm

Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery

  • 420 Titirangi Road
  • Auckland 0604