Sorawit Songsataya 
<i>Rumours (Mermaid) (detail)</i>, 2020.

Sorawit Songsataya
Rumours (Mermaid) (detail), 2020.

Exhibition Opening

  • Sat 8 Aug 2020
  • 6—8PM
  • Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre
  • All Free
  • All Welcome
  • Refreshments Provided

Join the Govett-Brewster team and supporters in officially opening and celebrating the new exhibition suite.

Ahead of the official opening, the exhibitions will be open to view during the day, with the following events also running: 

11am & 2pm: Trebuchet performances - a chance to see one of the most anticipated artworks in the new exhibition

1.30pm: Len Lye's Experimental Cinema - a screening of Lye's best known short films

2pm: Curator's Tour - explore and gain insight behind the works in Lin’s exhibition

6-8pm: Official opening - includes Sky Snakes and Trebuchet performances, a pre-recorded speech from Candice Lin and a short film screening: Inside Candice Lin's LA Studio


Candice Lin: Pigs and Poison

Debuting at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre, this survey exhibition brings together newly commissioned and existing works by LA-based artist Candice Lin.

Through her art practice, Lin explores legacies of Chinese migration and the interconnected cultivation of crops like tobacco, sugar cane, poppy, and fungi.

Lin looks at how the racialized language around plants and their use in parallel narratives of vitality and contamination.


Sorawit Songsataya: Rumours (Mermaid)

A brand new work from one of Govett-Brewster's Artists 'In Residence' of 2020.

Rumours (Mermaid) is the outcome of Songsataya’s residency, which has focused on researching the local ecological and geographic histories of Ngāmotu, and in particular Paritutu Rock and the Sugar Loaf Islands.

The exhibition considers the distance and difference humans construct between themselves and the natural world, and how this sits in contrast with our desire to reconnect with the environment.

The ocean, as a key geographic and cultural context in Aotearoa, is a space where these tensions are regularly played out, often reflecting key differences in the practices and values of various communities.

This concern with humanity’s relationship with the natural world is reflected in the exhibition’s title, Rumours (Mermaid), and its subject, which gesture toward the potential of becoming with (rather than against) nature.


Len Lye: The Absolute Truth of the Happiness Acid

A celebration of Len Lye’s filmmaking, the medium that resulted in the most international acclaim for the artist.

Our most comprehensive survey of Len Lye’s films presented alongside an extensive survey of studio tools and materials behind the making of the films.

Produced in collaboration with Berlin-based exhibition designers Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik, The Absolute Truth of the Happiness Acid explores new methods of presenting Lye’s films in the gallery environment, with extensive use of archival materials to expose Lye’s handmade approach to filmmaking.

The exhibition takes its title from a lecture delivered by Lye in 1968 at the Cambridge Animation Festival where he appeared as the keynote ‘celebrity speaker’. Lye spoke about his theory of the ‘old brain’ – creativity drawn from our ancient DNA rather than our modern intellect.

As the title for this exhibition, the ‘happiness acid’ invites us inside Lye’s films and their processes, and to feel the energies at play in his experimental approach to filmmaking.


Candice Lin
<i>A Robot Spoke What My Father Wrote</i>, 2019.
Photo Ian Byers-Gamber

Candice Lin
A Robot Spoke What My Father Wrote, 2019.
Photo Ian Byers-Gamber

Len Lye
<i>Rainbow Dance</i>, 1936.
Courtesy of the British Post Office, Len Lye Foundation, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and New Zealand Film Archive.

Len Lye
Rainbow Dance, 1936.
Courtesy of the British Post Office, Len Lye Foundation, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and New Zealand Film Archive.

Event Info