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Exhibitions and Events

Regular Tours at the Hocken

A rear view: Behind the scenes tours
Every Thursday at 11am (tours are 50 mins).

Join one of our friendly guides and learn about the Hocken. Check out the amazing materials in our archives, ephemera, maps, music/AV, photographs, pictures and published collections. Bookings not required. Limit of 10 people per tour. Tour starts at Hocken reception.

What’s in store? Art! - not currently offered
First Saturday of each month at 11am-12pm.

Did you know that the Hocken has one of this country’s most important collections of modern and historic New Zealand art including works by leading artists such as Rita Angus, Ralph Hotere, Robin White and Colin McCahon? Hocken staff will take you into the pictures store-rooms to see some of these art treasures. Bookings are required: Tel 03 479 8868. Limit of 10 people per tour. Tour starts at Hocken reception

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Upcoming talks

Dr Matthew Schmidt: Dunedin’s Changing Shoreline: A city built on reclamation

Matt Schmidt surveying on Auckland Islands image
Dr Schmidt recording the 1849-1852 Enderby Settlement on Auckland Islands, 2020.

This talk will walk listeners through the changing shape of Dunedin City from a small town built on hills and swampy areas next to the harbour shore, to a city built on the extensive reclamation of the harbour. The story of Dunedin’s’ reclamation is the story of the rising wealth and prosperity of New Zealand’s once richest city.

Dr Matthew Schmidt is the Senior Heritage Advisor Kaitohu Matua Taonga Tuku Iho Southern South Island for Te Papa Atawhai Department of Conservation. He was formally an independent heritage consultant and a Senior Archaeologist for Heritage New Zealand based in Dunedin. Matt has also been the New Zealand International Correspondent for the Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO for 13 years for whom he writes a paper annually on heritage conservation projects he has been involved in. Matt’s interests in heritage span all periods of New Zealand’s history and he has a particular interest in early Maori cultural heritage sites, contact period sites and sites related to pastoralism and gold mining.

Date: Thursday 17 June
Time: 5:30–6:30pm
Location: Hocklen Library, Anzac Avenue, Dunedin
Free. All welcome.

For more information, contact:

Tel +64 3 479 8868

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Current Exhibition


Shona McFarlane, Allan in the Bean bagShona McFarlane, (1929-2001), 'Allan in the Bean Bag', 1975, acrylic on hardboard, 990 x 1495 mm, bequeathed by Shona McFarlane, Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hākena, University of Otago, 03/11.

A bright collage of works focussing on recent Hocken art acquisitions, offering links to existing collections and suggesting lines of enquiry

Saturday 29 May – Saturday 17 July 2021

Drift is an exhibition focussing on art recently acquired by the Hocken combined with a selection of items from various Hocken collection areas. Presenting a rich and diverse range of paintings, prints, drawings, sketches, designs and other media, the exhibition aims to open up ways of thinking about the connections between collections and objects, offering lines of enquiry for continuing speculation and research rather than a single curatorial thesis.

Artists include: George French Angas, John Barnicoat, Margery Blackman, Gordon Brown, Edward Bullmore, Russell Clark, Jacqueline Fraser, William Gladstone, Patrick Hayman, Ralph Hotere, John Irvine, Robyn Kahukiwa, Shona McFarlane, Daniel McNee, George O’Brien, Seraphine Pick, Lisa Reihana, Charles Rodius, Mark and Paul Rayner, James Scott, Edgar Taylor, Imogen Taylor, John Turnbull Thomson, Martin Thompson, Dennis Knight Turner, Michael Tuffery, Marilynn Webb and Toss Woollaston among others.

Works on show range in date from the late 17th to the 21st century.

Curated by Robyn Notman, Head Curator Hocken Pictures, working with the Pictures Team.

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Upcoming Exhibitions

Pōkai Whenua, Pōkai Moana

2020/2021 Frances Hodgkins Fellowship exhibition.

Monday 16 August – Saturday 30 October 2021

Pōkai Whenua, Pōkai Moana references the many names of a Tamatea, a principle ancestor within Takitimu whakapapa. This exhibition by Tauranga Moana artist Bridget Reweti, the 2021/22 Frances Hodgkins Fellow, situates lands and waters as the main protagonist. Employing lens and light based processes from large format and stereoscopic photography to digital moving image, the works focus on lands and waters as known, named and implicitly possessing long-held Māori narratives. An illustrated publication with several short essays will be produced as part of this project and will be the first major monograph about the artist.

The Hocken Gallery will be closed between Monday 19 July – Friday 13 August 2021 for the next exhibition change-over.

Kaleidoscope World: Forty Years of Flying Nun

'The original collage'. Ian Dalziel. Hocken Pictures V2015.14.1Ian Dalziel, (b.1957), The Original Collage, 1991, collage and ink on paper, 135 x 135mm, Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hākena, University of Otago, V2015.14.1. Given by Warwick Eade, 2015. Part of the artwork Commissioned for Flying Nun Records, on the occasion of their 10th anniversary.

A celebration of 40 years of ‘Flying Nun’ and the Dunedin musicians associated with the label, featuring items from across all Hocken’s collections with the majority of exhibited materials coming from the Music and Posters collections.

Saturday 27 November 2021 – Saturday 26 March 2022

This exhibition includes singles covers and posters, ephemera, archives, photographs, artwork and publications relating to ‘Flying Nun’ and the ‘Dunedin Sound’, primarily drawn from the Hocken’s collection, complemented by iconic loans from private collections. Moving image of band performances and a gallery space devoted to women musicians in Flying Nun bands in Dunedin, notably Look Blue Go Purple will be combined with a foray into the contemporary context of music in Dunedin, emphasizing the continuum of musical production in Dunedin and the notable output of female musicians.

New design work commissioned from musician and artist Robert Scott will feature in the exhibition and form the graphic identity for ‘Kaleidoscope World’. A series of public programmes is also envisaged and currently under development.

Curated by Amanda Mills, Hocken Liaison Librarian, Curator Music and AV; and Katherine Milburn, Hocken Liaison Librarian, Curator Ephemera.

The Hocken Gallery will be closed between Monday 1 November – Friday 26 November 2021 for the next exhibition change-over.

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Need help? Talk to one of our friendly Library staff.