Exhibition Gallery - 1993
'CONSTRUCTIVE AGENDA' 1993 Exhibitions - Wellington & Auckland
In June 1993, to celebrate the centenary of New Zealand's suffrage movement, the exhibition "Constructive Agenda — 60 Years of Women in Architecture in New Zealand" in New Zealand women working in architecture. The exhibition included female students and graduates of architecture, along with practising, retired and deceased women architects.
The project was initiated by Deborah Cranko, Christina McKay, Jane Dykes and others, who sent out a letter in January 1993 to all women members of the NZIA, as a call for involvement in the exhibition to be held in Wellington. A committee was formed, WELLINGTON WOMEN IN ARCHITECTURE, which went on to win an NZIA award for their exhibition, held in the Ground Level Lobby of the Wellington City Council Administration Building. The huge response to the initial call meant that an Auckland committee was also formed, headed by Amanda Reynolds and Sarah Treadwell. Both the Wellington and the Auckland exhibitions were well attended, before a selection of panels formed a touring exhibition to selected NZIA branches.
Some very interesting research work was carried out for these exhibitions, with panels on graduates from the 1930's, 40's and 50's included, such as Margaret Munro, Merle Greenwood, and Susanne Priest, among others. The research and database produced by these 1993 exhibitions is invaluable, and this website intends to add to that database and use it for the 20 year anniversary exhibition, to be held in 2013.
The Auckland exhibition was held in the ground floor of the building now occupied by the New Gallery, which at that time was empty and owned by Telecom. A working bee was organised to clean up and paint the ground floor, (as it had been empty for years as a result of the privatisation of Telecom and the recession of the late 1980's) and the exhibition opened this building to the public for the first time. This revitilisation prompted an interest from the Auckland Art Gallery in the building it was subsequently made available to the Auckland Art Gallery by the Gibbs family. Mitchell & Stout were engaged as architects for the New Gallery, which has subsequently closed due to the recent remodelling of the main Art Gallery on Kitchener Street being able to house all collections.
The 1993 Constructive Agenda Exhibition was also the catalyst for the first Levene/AAA Urban Gaze competition, which focussed on the Ellen Melville hall and Freyburg Place. (Sponsors for this competition changed to Panasonic and in 2009 the name changed to Urban Eye.)