Christchurch Art Gallery presents Jealous Saboteurs

23 March 2017

Christchurch Art Gallery is excited to present Jealous Saboteurs – the first major survey exhibition of internationally acclaimed, New Zealand-born artist Francis Upritchard.

From her early collections of Egyptian-inspired urns and mummies, to primate-like figures constructed from discarded fur coats, and old hockey sticks transformed into strange reptilian trophies, Upritchard’s sculptures often borrow from the deep recesses of museum collections, folklore and modernist design.

“Francis Upritchard’s works are exquisitely imagined. They startle you with their peculiarity,” says Christchurch Art Gallery director Jenny Harper.

“Visitors will come face-to-face with enigmatic figures, sprawling sloths and cabinets full of the unexpected in this unforgettable major survey of her work.”

Upritchard’s work has been described as “unusually rich in associations and oddly timeless”. Spanning more than twenty years of practice, Jealous Saboteurs includes significant, little-seen early works, including fabricated, curiously ‘off’ artefacts and landscapes that lurk inside spectacle cases and roll out over card tables, as well as a large room full of her recent figure sculptures.

Featuring important loans from public and private collections in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, the exhibition is presented as a partnership between City Gallery Wellington and Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne, and supported by the City Gallery Wellington Foundation. It has been curated by MUMA director Charlotte Day and City Gallery Wellington’s chief curator Robert Leonard.

Francis Upritchard: Jealous Saboteurs is on display at Christchurch Art Gallery from 25 March to 16 July 2017. 

A programme of free events is associated with this exhibition, including a floor-talk by the artist and MUMA director Charlotte Day (Saturday 25 March, 2.30pm) and a kids’ workshop (Saturday 25 March, 11.00am). For more information, please see the Gallery's website: christchurchartgallery.org.nz/events