Friday, August 27, 2010


Back in the days before the art market boomed, when art-interested people talked about korus they probably meant paintings by Gordon Walters; nowadays it’s just as likely to be Air New Zealand’s VIP lounge the Koru Club. Air New Zealand and its Koru Club have always had an uneasy relationship with art, particularly contemporary art, as we have mentioned here, here and here. In the current iteration art has all but gone in the New Zealand lounges although works by Albrecht, Parekowhai, Hammond and others still linger on in the international ones. 

This history came to mind when the latest Koru Club magazine paid a tribute (of sorts) to Gordon Walters' koru by using one of his paintings on the back cover of its Winter/Spring 2010 issue. Apart from giving eye-stopping drama, the painting also served as an illustration for a short article by Webb’s Neil Campbell on investing in art and the stability of the art auction market. Campbell estimates the size of the art market in 2009 as $14.5 million and concludes "the demand for quality art investment opportunities has surged against the tide of economic uncertainty". But then he would, wouldn't he.