Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Visiting rights

Pictured above are the posters that have been put up around Wellington promoting Francis Upritchard’s exhibition RAINWOB I at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. Upritchard has been artist in residence in New Plymouth and this exhibition is the result. We also saw these posters around Auckland making the Govett-Brewster one of the few galleries prepared to chase audiences beyond their immediate community. It’s strange then that the invitation to the opening of the show arrived only a few days ago which made it very late to plan a trip and certainly too late to book cheap fares. Thinking more about how to attract out-of-town visitors, it’s curious that the Govett-Brewster’s website shows so little of what the exhibition looks like. Apart from the poster image there is nothing to tempt people to drive, fly or crawl to New Plymouth (not a place that is easy or cheap to get to). Compare dealer gallery web sites (lots of images of both work and exhibition installations) with public museum sites (very few images of current shows). Dealers have work to sell and they want people to see it, but public museums have an experience to sell and surely the best way to attract people is by images.