Fly fishing

Famous in New Zealand: Eastern Southland Gallery, Gore

The life-size statues are a striking sight at the Eastern Southland Gallery.

Great South

The life-size statues are a striking sight at the Eastern Southland Gallery.

The Eastern Southland Gallery in Gore is actually just one of those things.

Once inside the curved brick walls of the city’s original 1909 library, it expands before you like the Tardis, its bright and airy halls filled with startlingly modern art.

Ralph Hotere features prominently, with the museum rotating its large collection of his paintings and lithographs, many of which were donated by the artist himself. The gallery’s other major benefactor was John Money, an expatriate New Zealander working as a psychology and sexology researcher at Johns Hopkins University.

In 2003, he donated to the gallery his huge personal collection of not only works by artists like Rita Angus and Theo Schoon, but also indigenous art from West Africa and Australia.

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Why go?

Because you may not have access to the Guggenheim Museum in New York, this one, dubbed the “Goreggenheim” by Saatchi & Saatchi boss Kevin Roberts, will fill that gap.

The Eastern Southland Gallery features New Zealand's largest permanent Hotere exhibition.

Neat places

The Eastern Southland Gallery features New Zealand’s largest permanent Hotere exhibition.

In addition to the more familiar modern art, you can get up close to study fascinating, intricate, and colorful Aboriginal paintings, carved masks and figures from Mali and the Congo, jewelry and decorative headdresses, and life-size wooden statues. nature.

Insider Tip

If you think you can hear the rustle of grass blowing in the wind as you explore the gallery, you’re not crazy. It’s actually one of Len Lye’s kinetic sculptures, strands of stainless steel swirling around on a motorized base. And if you fancy starting your own collection, the gallery shop offers signed and framed lithographs of Dick Frizzell “Old Hokonui” for sale.

The Eastern Southland Gallery has an attractive historic entrance.

Pamela Wade

The Eastern Southland Gallery has an attractive historic entrance.

On the way/nearby

This is Gore, so you have to check out the city’s most famous work of art, the spectacularly leaping Big Trout. It is modeled after an actual fish, caught by local man Bert Harvey. You’re in the brown trout fishing capital of the country, so you too can catch one here – maybe even up to 5kg – on a guided fly fishing trip on the Mataura River .

Gore's giant trout is unmissable.

Pamela Wade

Gore’s giant trout is unmissable.

The city is also our nation’s country music capital, and there’s a big guitar by the trout. The Hands of Fame exhibit below features the concrete handprints of not only Kiwi artists like Ray Columbus and Suzanne Prentice, but also Kenny Rogers.

The Hokonui Pioneer Village and Museum, open on weekends, features a wide variety of vintage exhibits, from a church and crane to a school and spinning wheel. Note that the famous Hokonui Moonshine Museum, appropriately, is currently closed for development.

Hokonui Pioneer Village is full of interest.

Great South

Hokonui Pioneer Village is full of interest.

Go for a walk, bike ride or horseback ride. Follow the city’s heritage trail and say hello to Sergeant Dan outside the Flemings Creamoata factory, built in 1878. There’s a big Romney ram nearby. Drive on the Presidential Highway, between Gore and Clinton (otherwise known as SH93).

How much?

Free admission, koha appreciated.

The Eastern Southland Gallery has an impressive collection of indigenous art.

Great South

The Eastern Southland Gallery has an impressive collection of indigenous art.

Best time to go

Check the website for special events and temporary exhibits. Open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and public holidays, closed on Good Friday, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

See: esgallery.co.nz; southlandnz.com

Stay safe: New Zealand is currently under Covid-19 restrictions. Face coverings are mandatory on all flights and public transport. Proof of vaccination and vaccine exemption may be required at some locations under the traffic light system. Follow the instructions on covid19.govt.nz.