Art & creativity  |  7 Jun 2023

Ship Nails and Tail Feathers is a collaborative exhibition showcasing taonga (treasures) from the historic – and very different – collections of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū and Canterbury Museum.

This unusual selection of rare, exquisite, extravagant – and even curiously ordinary – objects has been handpicked by curators from both institutions.

Ship Nails and Tail Feathers combines functional objects, art and adornments, ideas and history. In combining the Gallery and Canterbury Museum collections, it provides a rare and rich experience for all curious visitors,” says Blair Jackson, Director of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.

“We’re showcasing items from Canterbury Museum, as well as familiar and lesser-known historical items from the Gallery’s own collection. When brought together, they tell fascinating stories about how people lived and what they valued, provoking thought and discussion about what that might mean to us in the here and now.”

Canterbury Museum Acting Director Sarah Murray says the Museum is thrilled to be collaborating with the Gallery in showcasing more than 100 taonga (treasures) from Aotearoa, Te Moana nui a Kiwa (the Pacific) and around the world.

“From navigational instruments, whaling-era relics and Chinese shadow puppets to extraordinary plumage, delicate watercolours and Edwardian showstoppers, this is a wonderful and surprising collection of taonga thoughtfully displayed in a series of themes,” Ms Murray says.

Ship Nails and Tail Feathers will be the perfect destination for visitors from Christchurch and beyond who are looking for a taste of the Canterbury Museum experience before the pop-up opens at CoCA in mid-2023.”

Running from 10 June to 23 October 2023, the exhibition will be introduced by curators Ken Hall, Hatesa Seumanutafa and Peter Vangioni in a free floortalk on Saturday 10 June at 11am.