Karen Walker and Mary Kisler, Senior Curator, International Art, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, view paintings by Frances Hodgkins. Image supplied.
Karen Walker has partnered with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki on an exciting new artwork-inspired range of collectable accessories called Frances Hodgkins: Framed by Karen Walker. The collaboration is a celebration of the Gallery’s upcoming major exhibition, Frances Hodgkins: Her European Journeys which opens in May 2019.
Karen was granted exclusive access to the Gallery’s collection of Hodgkins’ artwork over four months to create her collection. The Gallery holds the largest collection of the artist’s work in the world. Incidentally, both women were recently included in the NZ Herald’s list of ‘Trailblazers: 125 Kiwi Women Who Changed the World’.
The collection itself references Hodgkins’ modernist paintings and includes exclusive travel-inspired accessories. The aim was to reflect Hodgkins’ nomadic and adventurous lifestyle, which was ground-breaking for New Zealand women at that time and will resonate with women of today too.
‘Frances Hodgkins was the original “Runaway Girl,” says Karen. “Her life was full of purpose, adventure and independence. Our work has always been inspired by strong female stories and women with outsider points of view and adventurous spirits. It’s been an honour to be invited by the Gallery to get up-close with Frances Hodgkins’ work and reinterpret some of her most-beloved pieces through our own lens.”
Mary Kisler, Senior Curator, International Art at Auckland Art Gallery and curator of Frances Hodgkins: Her European Journeys adds “Throughout her life Frances Hodgkins was extremely interested in fashion. Her letters to her family in New Zealand kept them up to date with the latest styles, and she worked in 1926 as a fabric designer in Manchester. Her most radical paintings are fashion-focused self-portraits combined with still-life in which she intertwines favourite fabrics, hats, shoes and objects. It’s especially rewarding to see the Gallery’s superb collection of Hodgkins’ work activated through this collaboration with Karen, and to know they have the same visual appeal now as they did when they were created.”
Frances Hodgkins: Her European Journeys, the exhibition, will open Saturday 4 May 2019 at Auckland Art Gallery and will trace Hodgkins’ creative and peripatetic life, from her upbringing in Dunedin, and travels through France, Morocco and Spain to England. It will also examine the influence of location on her development as a modernist painter and the notion of travel and journeying as a source of artistic inspiration.
Frances Hodgkins: Framed by Karen Walker will be available from May 2019.