Cook Islands Gallery Opens International Show In NZ

Bergman Gallery
Rarotonga, Cook Islands

May 16, 2017

Rarotonga’s Bergman Gallery is going international for the first time, presenting the work of artists Mahiriki Tangaroa, Sylvia Marsters and Andy Leleisiúao in special presentation at this year’s Auckland Art Fair in New Zealand.

The fair, regarded as one of the most important events on the New Zealand arts calendar, will run at The Cloud, on the Auckland waterfront, from May 26-29.

The gallery represents Cook Islands and selected New Zealand artists, and director Ben Bergman said its essential aim is to deliver an "energised" artistic statement, looking at universal human issues within a Pacific context and challenging persistent, yet archaic, first world perceptions of the modern Pacific environment and, by default, the art that is formed within it.

"This premise also gives emphasis to the long term relationship between New Zealand and the Cook Islands," Bergman says.

"It is said that close to 1000 years ago, seven canoes departed the harbour at Avana, Rarotonga, bound for New Zealand. And since 1965, when the country became self-governing in free association with New Zealand, Cook Islanders have held New Zealand passports.

"Today, Rarotonga is a dynamic, modern Pacific centre driven by global tourism and a smart private sector that works in close association with a progressive, business-friendly, democratic government."

At the Auckland art fair, Tangaroa, Leleisiúao and Marsters will deliver 21 new works, with each of the artist’s characteristic painting skills on fine display. Lelisisúao’s presentation will also be accompanied by an installation of 225 ‘band aid’ works.

The Auckland Art Fair was developed to encourage involvement, understanding and appreciation of contemporary art in New Zealand. It features art work by leading and emerging artists from New Zealand, Australia, and throughout the Pacific Rim.

Based in Taputapuatea, Bergman Gallery is the innovation of Ben Bergman, son of Cook Islands Pearl industry pioneers Mike & Marjorie Bergman who immigrated to the Cook Islands in 1976.

Bergman Gallery is supported by Air New Zealand, Palm Grove, CITC Liquor, BSP Bank, Matson, Toa Gas, & Turama Photography.

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