Helmed by Jade Townsend and Francis McWhannell, Season is situated down one side of the gigantic Commercial Bay building.
The pair aims for people to feel uplifted and transformed by visiting the gallery – if only in a small way. The space has a surprising grandeur; it is compact but the ceiling is high.
Since opening in February 2022, Season has shown a raft of iconic Māori artists such as Robyn Kahukiwa and Maungarongo “Ron” Te Kawa, alongside little-known or early-career creatives — architect and furniture designer Gerard Dombroski, painter Hamish Coleman, and graphic designer and jewellery artist Becky Bliss.
Each exhibition centres around relationships and stories generated from connection.
Townsend and McWhannell's kaupapa, or purpose, revolves around a core set of values – embracing variety and complexity, sharing pūrākau (stories) and promoting hauora (health, wellbeing).
These values feed into how they approach their own separate curatorial and artistic visions — which include supporting artists beyond the walls of their gallery. McWhannell is a well-known art writer and curator, while Townsend exhibits regularly and curates Whānau Mārama, a large-scale group show that takes place each Matariki (Māori New Year) in several locations at Commercial Bay.
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