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Artists I have worked with:


PAUL CULLEN
BING DAWE
DES HELMORE

JOHN LYALL
GREGORY O'BRIEN
JAN NIGRO
MICHAEL SHEPHERD


Exhibition Archive


>
GREGORY O'BRIEN b. 1961 Matamata, New Zealand.  
 


Poet, fiction and non-fiction writer, curator, artist.
He is a contributing editor to the American literary annual Fulcrum and has edited issues of Landfall, Sport.
He has also worked with letterpress printers, visual artists, typographers, composers, musicians, film-makers and other artists exploring new possibilities for poetry.


1988 Frank Sargeson Fellow.

1995 Victoria University Writer in Residence.

1997 - 2004 Taught in the creative writing programme at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington.

2004
Edited a 50 page New Zealand poetry supplement for Fulcrum (Harvard, Massachusetts, USA).

2005
Guest writer at the Poetry International Festival, Rotterdam, and travelled to Moscow for the launching of Land of Seas, an anthology of New Zealand poetry translated into Russian.

2006
O'Brien's poems were incorporated into a fashion range by leading New Zealand clothes designer Doris De Pont.

2008
Guest at ‘Les Belles Etrangeres’ festival, France, where, with Jenny Bornholdt, he read in Paris, Marseilles, Arles, Nantes and Lille. Later that month, he visited Berlin, with his partner Jenny Bornholdt, as a guest of the Goethe Institut.

2009
June - left his position as senior curator at City Gallery Wellington to work full-time on various writing and visual arts-related endeavours.
August - he was a featured writer at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

2012
Awarded a Arts Foundation Laureate
Received a Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement.

2013
Awarded a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to arts.




Raoul Island Whale Survey, 2002
acrylic on board, 300mm diametre.
Exhibited: Kemadec :Nueve Artisrtas Exploran el
Pacifico Sur, Easter Island.





Gregory O'Brien Provisions for a Voyage
2011, acrylic on canvas.
Exhibited: Kermadec - Nine Artists in the South Pacific,
Voyager National Maritime Museum, Auckland
and Tauranga Art Gallery.



Gregory O'Brien Beauties of the
Octagonal Pool
2011, ink & acrylic
on paper
,35 x 24 cm




Gregory O'Brien Basement Kitchen II 2008,
relief etching, edition of 10, 390 x 288 mm.




Gregory O'Brien working at the Cicada Press,
Sydney, Australia.




Installation shot of the exhibition
Artist:Poet:Artist
Gregory O'Brien and John Lyall,
2011,
Jane Sanders Art Agent, Auckland.




GregoryO'Brien, News of the Swimmer
Reaches Shore, Matiatai Bay
, 2008,
acrylic on wood, 61 x 84.5 cm




Auckland University Press, 2011



Afternoon of an Evening Train,

Victoria University Press 2005.




Auckland University Press, 2004


Gregory O'Brien, The Rosary Sonatas, 2001.
acrylic on paper, 15 images each 42 x 30 cm



Detail from The Rosary Sonatas.




Days Beside Water
, Auckland University
Press 1993 & Carcanet, UK, 1994


 


Gregory O'Brien TA/RA/NA/KI, 1994
Acrylic on wood, 38 x 24 x 13 cm





Gregory O'Brien The Pilgrim wet with
tears
1986, ink on paper, 5.5 x 11 cm.


The Pilgrim Wet With Tears

The pilgrim wet with tears
Searches his pocket for shelter
Crawls under a tiny handkerchief
And calls this place Home.
Somewhere deep in the sleeping face
A woman is running in a familiar gown
Chasing a fox away from the chickens –
On the manor wall generations later
A fox is carved hanging from a tree
Rabbits the size of men
Are being shot through with arrows
It is an untidy oracle but one worth noting –
This familiar tale, this sleeping face.
From: Location of the Least Person
by Gregory O’Brien. pg 64.
Published 1987 by Auckland University Press



EXHIBITIONS

Since 1990 has held Solo shows at Bowen Gallery, Wellington.
1990 – 1995 Solo and group exhibitions at RKS Art, Auckland.

1990
October - Great Lake, RKS Auckland.

1991 A Tarpaulin for Torpedo Sam, Bowen Galleries, Wellington.

1992
June - The rockstrewn hills

1993
Irishman and Industry,
solo. Bowen Galleries, Wellington.

2006
Luna & Arthur,
Bowen Galleries, Wellington.

2009
Jan-May - Auckland Harbour—four works, Te Whau Vineyard, Waiheke.
March - For Maxwell Fernie, I & II, Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington.

2010
A Working Kitchen
group show Noel McKenna, Brendan O’Brien and Gregory O’Brien. Bowen Galleries, Wellington.

2011
Artist:Poet:Artist
Gregory O’Brien and John Lyall, Jane Sanders Art Agent, Auckland.
Kermadec - Nine Artists in the South Pacific group show - Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O'Brien, Jason O'Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson, Robin White, Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga.

2012
Beauties of the Octagonal Pool
, solo. Jane Sanders Art Agent, Auckland.
Feb - Kermadec - Nine Artists in the South Pacific group show - Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O'Brien, Jason O'Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson, Robin White, Voyager National Maritime Museum, Auckland.
May - Kermadec: Expeditions and Connections, group show, group show - Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O'Brien, Jason O'Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson, Robin White, National Library for Schools, Auckland.
May - Raoul Island Whale Survey, Bowen Galleries, Wellington.
May - 'Kermadec--Nine Artists in the South Pacific' group show - Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O'Brien, Jason O'Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson, Robin White, New Zealand High Commission, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.
July - 'Kermadec--Nueve Artistas Exploran El Pacifico Sur' Liceo
Lorenzo Baeza Vega, Hanga Roa, Isla de Pasqua/Easter Island - group show - Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O'Brien, Jason O'Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson, Robin White.

2012/2013
Kermadec group show - Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O'Brien, Jason O'Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson, Robin White, City Gallery, Wellington.

2013
Kermadec - Art Across the Pacifiic group show - Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O'Brien, Jason O'Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson, Robin White, Santiago, Chile.

2013/2014
Hands to Bathe - Imagining a Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary group show - Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O'Brien, Jason O'Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson, Robin White, Torpedo Bay, Navy Museum.

2013-16  Kermadec—lines in the ocean group show Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O’Brien, Jason O’Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson, Robin White exhibition touring nationwide

2014
Notes: artists’ books on music group show, Bowen Galleries, Wellington.
Collaborations with Ewan McLeod, Window, Bowen Galleries, Wellington.
MERCED 562 Bruce Foster and Gregory O'Brien, Window Gallery, Bowen Galleries, Wellington.
In the Window - collaborations by Gregory O'Brien and Ewan McLeod Bowen Galleries, Wellington .

20014/2015
Whale Years Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga

2015
Crossing Cook Strait Window, Bowen Galleries, Wellington
Kermadec-nine artists in the South Pacific group show Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O’Brien, Jason O’Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson, Robin White, Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Noumea, New Caledonia.

2016
Ode to an abandoned whaling station Bowen Galleries, Wellington.
Kermadec 'Discoveries & Connections' group show Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster,
Fiona Hall, Gregory O’Brien, Jason O’Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds,
Elizabeth Thomson, Robin White , New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington. Associated science symposium also held.
TIDAL, group show Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Ian Macdonald, Gregory O'Brien,
John Pule, Elizabeth Thomson, Vivian Gallery, Matakana


SELECTED BOOK ILLUSTRATIONS

1985
Paris, C. K. Stead, Auckland University Press/Oxford University Press.
Art Care, Sarah Hillary, Auckland Art Gallery. Reprinted 2001

1987
Gorilla/Guerilla, Elizabeth Smither, E.S.A.W.

1988
The Brain of Katherine Mansfield, Bill Manhire, Auckland University Press.

2001
These Things, Jenny Bornholdt, Waiteata Press, Victoria University.

2002
Ode to the Little Hotel, Jenny Bornholdt, Fernbank Studio.

2003
Summer, Jenny Bornholdt, Victoria University Press.

Gregory O’Brien has also designed and drawn book covers for publishers in the U.K., Australia, Belgium, Germany and Russia.

WORKS IN COLLECTIONS

Private collections in New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, France and Germany.

Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
Hocken Library, Dunedin.
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.
National Library of New Zealand, Wellington
Rare Books Collection, Auckland Public Libraries.
Auckland University Art Collection.
Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wellington.

PUBLICATIONS

NON-FICTION

Moments of Invention--Profiles of New Zealand writers (with photographer Robert Cross) (Heinemann/Reed >1988).
Nigel Brown (Random House/Century Hutchinson, 1990).
Lands and Deeds—Profiles of Contemporary New Zealand Painters (Godwit/Random House 1996) shortlisted >for Montana Book Awards 1997.
Hotere—Out the Black Window (Godwit/Random House, 1997) shortlisted for Montana Book Awards, 1998.
After Bathing at Baxter’s—Essays and Notebooks (Victoria University Press, 2002) included the essay, ‘A journey around Kendrick Smithyman’s Atua Wera’, winner, inaugural Landfall essay competition, 1997.
Welcome to the South Seas—Contemporary New Zealand Art for Young People (Auckland University Press >2004) winner non-fiction section, New Zealand Post Book Awards 2005, winner Elsie Locke medal 2005.
Elizabeth Thomson—My Hi-Fi, My Sci-Fi (City Gallery Wellington, 2006).
We set out one morning—works from the BNZ Art Collection (Private Bank, 2006).
News of the Swimmer Reaches Shore (Carcanet UK/Victoria University Press 2007/ excerpt published in 20 Ans, Les Belles Etrangeres, trns. Pierre Furlan, 2008).
A Nest of Singing Birds—100 Years of the New Zealand School Journal (Learning Media, 2007) – winner ‘reference and anthology’ section, Montana Book Awards 2008; shortlisted Booksellers Award, Montana Book Awards 2002.
Back and Beyond—New Zealand Painting for the Young and Curious (Auckland University Press 2008) winner New Zealand Post Book Awards, non-fiction section, 2009; shortlisted for Elsie Locke medal 2009.
A Micronaut in the Wide World: The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy (Auckland University Press, 2011).
See What I Can See: New Zealand Photography for the Young and Curious (Auckland University, 2015)

BOOKS EDITED AND CO-AUTHORED

White horse, black dog—photography of Peter Black (Sport 15, 1995).
My heart goes swimming—New Zealand Love Poems (with Jenny Bornholdt) (Godwit, 1996).
An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry (in English), (with Jenny Bornholdt and Mark Williams) (Oxford University Press, 1996) winner poetry section, Montana Book Awards, 1997.
Parihaka—the art of passive resistance (with Te Miringa Hohaia and Lara Strongman) co winner biography and history section, Montana Book Awards, 2001.

Big Weather—Wellington Poems (with Louise White/St John) Mallinson Rendel, 2000, shortlisted Booksellers Award, Montana Book Awards 2001 / reprinted three times, New enlarged edition, forthcoming July 2009.
John Drawbridge—Wide Open Interior (Mallinson Rendel / City Gallery Wellington, 2001)
Chris Booth—Sculpture in Europe, Australia and New Zealand (with Edward Lucie-Smith and Ken Scarlett) Godwit, 2002.
Peter Black—Real Fiction (with Lara Strongman), Sport 30, 2004.
Rosalie Gascoigne—Plain Air (City Gallery Wellington, Victoria University Press, 2003).
The Colour of Distance—New Zealand writers in France, French writers in New Zealand (with Jenny Bornholdt) (Victoria University Press, 2005).
Aberhart (Victoria University Press, 2007), shortlisted for Montana Book Awards 2008, illustrated arts section.
Fiona Hall—Force Field (Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney/City Gallery Wellington, 2008).
East—Stanley Palmer (Craig Potton Publishing, 2009).
John Pule—Lost Gods (University of Otago Press, 2010).
Kermadec - Nine Artists in the South Pacific. Co-edit with Bronwyn Golder (Pew Environment Group, 2011)
• Pat Hanly, (Ron Sang Publications, 2013) Won the Illustrative Non-Fiction Award at the NZ Post Book Awards 2013.
• His Own Steam: The Work of Barry Brickell Co-authored with David Craig(Auckland University Press 2012) Shortlisted for New Zealand Post Book Awards: Illustrated Non-Fiction Category 2013.
Futuna—life of a building, co-authored with Nick Bevin (Victoria University Press, 2016)



DOCUMENTARY FILMSCRIPT

Aspiring, 45min, dir. Yvonne Mackay, Gibson Group, 2006.

POETRY

Location of the Least Person Auckland University Press 1987.
Man with a Child’s Violin Caxton Press 1990) shortlisted New Zealand Book Awards 1991.
Great Lake Local Consumption Publications, Sydney, 1991.
Malachi Little Esther Books, 1991.
Days Beside Water Auckland University Press 1993 and Carcanet, UK, 1994.
Winter I Was Victoria University Press 1999.
Afternoon of an Evening Train Victoria University Press 2000.
Two walk in Edinburgh (with photographer Mari Mahr), Holloway Press, Auckland University, 2011.
Beauties of the Octagonal Pool, Auckland University Press, 2012.
• Citizen of Santiago, (with photographer Bruce Foster), Trapeze Press, 2014.
Whale Years Auckland University, 2015.


O’Brien has also produced numerous small press projects including:

Dunes and Barns (Modern House, 1988)
The Long Fall from Splendour to Splendour (with drawings by Brian Gregory, Puriri Press 1994)
Irishman and Industry (Pear Tree Press, 1996)
Seven Letters (Wellington Plains, 1996)
The Time and How (Wellington Plains, 1996)
Two Apostrophes (with illustrations by Noel McKenna, Wellington Plains 2001)
The Wolf of Horeke (with Noel McKenna, Fernbank Studio 2008), Finitudes (Wellington Plains, 2009)
Small Edible Garden (Wellington Plains, 2009).


FICTION

Diesel Mystic (Auckland University Press, 1989) shortlisted for New Zealand Book Awards, fiction section, 1990

SELECTED BOOK CONTRIBUTIONS:

The Source of the Song; New Zealand writers and Catholicism, ed. Mark Williams, VUP 1995
Art in the 20th Century; Modern Masterpieces of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, City Gallery Wellington, 1998
Hotere—Black Light (ed. Ian Wedde) Te Papa Press, 2000
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera; Mexican Modernism, Australian National Gallery, Canberra; Contemporary New Zealand Photographers (ed. Lara Strongman and Hannah Holm), Mountain View Press 2006
Cover Up, the art of the book cover in NZ, preface to book by Hamish Thompson (Random House, 2007)
Look This Way (ed. Sally Blundell), Auckland University Press, 2007
Rita Angus—Life and Vision (ed. William McAloon and Jill Trevelyan) Te Papa Press 2008
Art at Te Papa (ed. William McAloon) Te Papa Press 2009
Making it new: Focus on contemporary Australian Art (Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, forthcoming 2009).
Michael Hight—crossing the line, co-authored with Paula Green (Gow Langsford Gallery, 2014)
• Fiona Hall—Big Game Hunting, catalogue essay (Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne)


INCLUDED IN THE FOLLOWING SELECTED ANTHOLOGIES:

The Oxford Anthology of 20th Century New Zealand Poetry (ed. Vincent O’Sullivan), 1987
The Caxton Anthology of New Zealand Poetry 1972-85 (ed. Mark Williams), 1987
The New Poets (ed. Murray Edmond and Mary Paul, Allen & Unwin) 1987
The New Fiction (ed. Michael Morrissey, 1986)
The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry 1989
The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories 1989
• 100 New Zealand Poems (ed. Bill Manhire, 1993)
The Oxford Anthology of New Zealand Love Stories (ed. Fiona Kidman) 1995
An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry (in English), Oxford 1996
The Oxford Anthology of New Zealand Love Poems (ed. Lauris Edmond) 1997
Essential New Zealand Poems (Edmond/Sewell 2000); New New Zealand Poets in Performance (ed. Ross & >Kemp), 2008
Twenty Contemporary New Zealand Poets, Carcanet/VUP 2009.

MAJOR EXHIBITIONS CURATED BY GREGORY O’BRIEN

Hotere—Out the Black Window - for City Gallery Wellington 1997 (toured to Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch, Dunedin)
From the BNZ Art Collection - for City Gallery Wellington, 1998
McCahon—A view from the Ureweras - for City Gallery Wellington, 1999
Parihaka—the art of Passive Resistance (with Te Miringa Hohaia and Lara Strongman) - for City Gallery Wellington (toured to Dunedin and New Plymouth)
John Drawbridge—Wide Open Interior - for City Gallery Wellington, 2001
Peter Black—Real Fiction - for City Gallery Wellington, 2002
Rosalie Gascoigne - for City Gallery Wellington, 2004 (co-curated with Paula Savage)
Main Trunk Lines—New Zealand Poetry - for National Library Gallery, Wellington, 2005 (co-curated with>Jenny Bornholdt)
Melvin Day—Continuum - for City Gallery Wellington, 2005 (toured to Rotorua)
Jane Pountney—wade in the water - for City Gallery Wellington 2005
Noel McKenna—Sheltered Life - for City Gallery Wellington, 2005 (subsequently shown in Sydney)
Elizabeth Thomson—My Hi-Fi My Sci-Fi - for City Gallery Wellington, 2006 (toured to Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua and Dunedin)
A Nest of Singing Birds—100 Years of the New Zealand School Journal - for National Library Gallery, Wellington, 2007 (co-curated with Susanna Andrew and Jenny Bornholdt) (toured to New Plymouth)
Aberhart - for City Gallery Wellington, 2007 (toured to Auckland, Wanganui, Christchurch and Dunedin)
Fiona Hall—Force Field - for Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and City Gallery Wellington (toured to Christchurch and, in reduced form, to New Plymouth and Newcastle, Australia) (co-curated with >Vivienne Webb, MCA, and Paula Savage)
John Pule retrospective - for City Gallery Wellington (to open in June 2010)
The imaginative life and times of Graham Percy - for Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland University, 2011. Touring show.


POEMS SET TO MUSIC

Irishman and Industry – for soprano saxophone and voice, Lucien Johnson, 2004
Wet Jacket Arm – for bassoon and voice, Gillian Whitehead 2008
Richard Henry in Fiordland – for bassoon, piano and voice, Gillian Whitehead 2008
A shift in the wind – for two pianos and voice, Gillian Whitehead 2008
Winter I Was – for alto flute and voice, Ben Hoadley, 2009
Song Cycle (Winter I Was, from Stitch Bird, A Traditional Song, Russian Grave Menton), for piano and >voice, Helen Bowater, 2009
The non-singing seats (in preparation), Helen Bowater, 2010
• Beneath the crumpled stars (seven poems from whale years), Helen Bowater, 2015


WEBSITES

Book Council website profile:
http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writers/obriengreg.html

Victoria University Press profile:
http://www.victoria.ac.nz/vup/authorinfo/gobrien.aspx

Carcanet Publishers, UK, author’s profile:
http://www.carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?owner_id=532

Bowen Galleries website:
http://www.bowengalleries.co.nz/htm/artists/obrien.html

About Welcome to the South Seas and Back & Beyond; including four supplementary chapters published only on this website:
http://www.chartwell.org.nz/startthinking/welcometothesouthseas.asp

Full text of Gregory O’Brien’s Janet Frame Memorial Lecture, 2008
http://www.nzbooksabroad.com/framelecture.php

Where the alphabet begins-Janet Frame and contemporary New Zealand art, lecture given at City Gallery Wellington, 2005:
http://www.citygallery.org.nz/mainsite/lecture-by-gregory-o-brien.html

Introduction to Land of Seas, an anthology of New Zealand poetry translated into Russian and published in Moscow, June 2005. English version:
http://www.nzetc.org/iiml/turbine/Turbi05/nzpoetryabroad/landofseas1.html

Exit from Eden—euphoria and despair in the art of Fiona Hall, lecture given at Govett-Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, May 2008:
www.govettbrewster.com [in preparation]

A book-length poem, ‘Malachi’, originally published by Little Esther Books, Adelaide, 1993:
http://www.eaf.asn.au/otis/gom.html

A 2008 long sequence of poems, ‘The ailing wife’, in the UK journal Shearsman:
http://www.shearsman.com/pages/magazine/back_issues/shearsman77_78/obrien.html

Essay: ‘A journey around Kendrick Smithyman’s Atua Wera’, Landfall 1997
http://www.nzepc.auckland.ac.nz/authors/smithyman/journey.asp

Essay about James K. Baxter and Peter Jackson, Sport 2002
http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-Ba28Spo-t1-body-d12.html

Essay about James K. Baxter and Hiruharama (Jerusalem), Sport 1994
http://www.nzepc.auckland.ac.nz/misc/obrien.asp