Join Sarah Hillary (Principal Conservator at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki) and Len Lye Curator Paul Brobbel, in conversation about the hidden stories behind paintings - ranging from fourteenth-century artworks, to Len Lye.

Sarah and Paul will share their explorations, discoveries and give insight into what a wonderful privilege it is to be working so closely with works of art.

This event is inspired by The Back of the Painting, co-authored by three painting conservators Linda Waters, Jenny Sherman and Sarah Hillary. This fascinating book looks at the backs of thirty-three paintings including Colin McCahon, Ralph Hotere and Gottfried Lindauer held in the collections of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

The back of Len Lye’s paintings also hold many treasures, such as a range of his poems. During this event several of Len Lye's paintings will be on display, so you can see first-hand an otherwise unseen part of Len Lye's artwork.

More about Sarah Hillary:
Sarah Hillary is Principal Conservator at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and specializes in the study of historical painting techniques. She has published research on New Zealand artists Colin McCahon, Rita Angus, Frances Hodgkins and Gottfried Lindauer, and international artists James Tissot and Guido Reni.

She has also been involved in curating exhibitions about artist technique including Modern Paints Aotearoa (2014-15) and Identifying Lindauer: his materials and techniques (2016). Sarah curated the 19 Gallery: Relocating Frances Hodgkins which was held in conjunction with the Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys exhibition (2019-20). She is one of the three authors of The Back of the Painting book published by Te Papa Press in 2021. Sarah is a practicing artist and is represented by Anna Miles Gallery.


  • Free


  • Sat 12 Nov


  • 10:30 am — 11:30 am


  • 42 Queen Street
  • New Plymouth