Monday, April 12, 2010


People must wonder when they eventually get to Te Papa’s Sculpture Court - in ‘the upper reaches of Te Papa’ as Te Papa itself puts it on the website – why it is so out of the way. The reason goes back to the planning days and the clue is in the dedicated elevator that takes you up there. Initially the outside deck and the space that abuts it was slotted in as a corporate functions area. The idea was to whisk potential sponsors skyward, feed them, water them and sign them up - and all this with a view to die for. The transformation of this corporate haven into a Sculpture Court came about as a sop to complaints that Te Papa was sidelining contemporary art in the narrow boulevard on level five. At that stage the memory of the National Art Galley’s commitment to a strong and regular programme of NZ and imported contemporary art exhibitions remained fresh. 

Now it seems enough years have passed for another change. Apparently Te Papa feels emboldened enough to kick art off the roof and use the space for what it considers more important functions.

Image: On top of Te Papa