Event Details


Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery director Christina Barton, poses some questions to artist and director of Artspace Aotearoa, Ruth Buchanan, and writer and curator Wystan Curnow. Their conversation is designed to draw out thoughts on language in and around the works of Ana Iti and Nick Austin.

This is the second in the series Walking, Talking, Reading, Writing exploring themes running through Life Puzzle and A dusty handrail on the track. With references to narrative sequencing and spanning physical or temporal distances, the common point of departure is a push-pull approach to language and physical structure. Each presenter juxtaposes lifted elements to different ends: making sense of the subtle absurdities of everyday life or picking over remnant colonial and indigenous forms and structures.

Ruth Buchanan is an artist who runs her studio out of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Berlin. She works across exhibition making, writing, design, publishing, and teaching. Her work draws out the contested and dynamic relationship between the body, power, language and the archive. This process of contesting often relates closely to the types of relationships that standardised infrastructures, such as archives, libraries, and museums create between our bodies and society at large and actively asks how these relationships could be otherwise. She is currently Kaitohu Director of Artspace Aotearoa

Wystan Curnow is a writer, poet, and curator based in Auckland. Moving freely between literature and the arts, theory and practice, Wystan’s keen observations in the form of long essays, reviews and reports have provided essential, in-depth commentary on New Zealand contemporary art since 1970. His collection of art writings, The Critic’s Part (AAG, IMA, THWUP, 2014), was awarded the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand’s gold medal for best collection (2015). In 2005 he became a Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit for contributions to art and literature and in 2018 he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in non-fiction. Working closely with artists, he recently published an exchange of “letters” with Nick Austin in Nick Austin: Personal Address (Hopkinson Mossman, 2017).


  • Free - All Welcome


  • Sat 01 Apr


  • 11:00 am — 12:00 pm


  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • Gate 3, Kelburn Parade
  • Wellington 6012