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Christchurch City Council Media Release 9 August 2001

Firing The Imagination

Art collectors and enthusiasts are in for a rare treat, as the results of a collaborative project by 13 of the country's leading visual artists go on sale, in support of the new Christchurch Art Gallery.

The Artists' Plate Project is the latest in a series of creative campaigns, involving artists from around New Zealand in fundraising for the $47.5 million Gallery.

The original, hand-painted 29cm square sushi dishes will be sold either as sets of twelve or four, each decorated by a different artist. Buyers of the sets of four will be able to select from a variety of plate combinations.

Visual artists from all over New Zealand, including Philip Trusttum, Gavin Chilcott, Judy Darragh, Nicola Jackson, Tony Lane, Robert McLeod, Julia Morison, Simon Ogden, Andrew Drummond, and Bronwyn Taylor have taken part in the project.

The designer of the project, Simon Ogden, of the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, says the project has created a rare opportunity for any collector of New Zealand art.

"For many of the artists this has been their first opportunity to work with ceramics; others, like Chilcott, have already received acclaim for their work in this media," says Mr Ogden.

"The results are truly stunning - they would grace any collection."

Simon Ogden says several public institutions have already expressed interest in purchasing a set of the plates.

"But the sets are priced to allow private collectors the opportunity to purchase a part of this unique artistic collaboration," says Simon Ogden.

"Whether to display, or to impress dinner guests, the involvement of artists of this calibre will make the Artists' Plates a truly rewarding investment."

The Artists' Plates are available from the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Christchurch. For all enquiries, contact Anna-Marie Dew, Fundraising Liaison and Special Events, Robert McDougall Art Gallery, (03) 379 4201.

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