Panel Discussion + Screening

Sunday 13 October, 3-5pm

As part of the Auckland Heritage Festival, former Waitakere City mayor Sir Bob Harvey, McPhee biographer Heath Wilkes and artist Dick Frizzell will be with us to discuss the legacy of mid-century velvet painting with filmmaker and Arts Foundation Laureate, Sima Urale. This is followed by a screening of Sima's 1997 documentary, Velvet Dreams. This film depicts a quest to find a Polynesian princess depicted by the infamous Titirangi painter of nubile south sea maidens, Charles McPhee. Urale’s narrative takes us on a journey across the Pacific, to the homelands where Western men encountered and created their romanticised visions of exotic maidens and scenes, and to the USA, where tiki lounge theme bars continue to draw influence from the stereotypes of mid-century pop culture. Are these soft-focus clichés, colonial constructs, retro kitsch, or an important part of our art history?

Tickets $15, Members $10 - available here.


  • $15, Members $10


  • Sun 13 Oct


  • 3:00 pm — 5:00 pm


  • 420 Titirangi Road
  • Auckland 0604