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Seeing is Believing


One of the earliest paintings in this exhibition was made in 1893, the same year in which New Zealand women won the right to vote. Painted by local artist Charlotte Sadd it depicts the creation of now familiar Nelson landmark Rocks Road. 125 years have passed and Seeing is Believing presents 125 artworks from The Suter’s collection, all made by women.

From paintings to prints, drawings, textiles and ceramics this exhibition highlights the creativity, skill and breadth of talent of the women whose work is housed within The Suter’s collection. The artworks cross the spectrum of subjects with vivid landscapes, faceted abstracts, lush still lives and striking portraits. And vary in scale from minuscule pieces to artworks monumental in their proportions.

The 59 women whose artworks make up this exhibition range from titans in New Zealand art history such as Frances Hodgkins and Rita Angus, through to Nelson favourites like Jane Evans, Sally Burton and Christine Boswijck. With artists from across the globe the women represented in this exhibition each bring unique and varied life experiences and points of view to create a rich and diverse collection.

This exhibition takes its name from the most recent work on display. Seeing is Believing was made in 2016 by Auckland based artist Mary-Louise Browne for the opening of the redeveloped Suter. In bright blue neon Seeing is Believing, with its reversed text, prompts us to question what we see in the world around us. In seeing this exhibition it is easy to believe that our community of artists would be far poorer without the contribution of these incredible women.

Sarah McClintock
Suter Curator and Collection Manager

 Frances HODGKINS (New Zealander, b.1869, d.1947),  Ruined Mine, Wales , 1932, gouache on paper. Presented anonymously in 1949. Acc. 245

Frances HODGKINS (New Zealander, b.1869, d.1947), Ruined Mine, Wales, 1932, gouache on paper. Presented anonymously in 1949. Acc. 245

Earlier Event: October 6
Wendy Fairclough: Common Ground
Later Event: November 17
Flora Scales