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Listening Stones Jumping Rocks

20 Nov 2021 to 27 Mar 2022
20 Nov 2021-27 Mar 2022 (*note summer closedown)
Artworks that offer offer a re-examination of the boundaries between human and nonhuman, life and living, speculation and imagination in the third millennium.
Event type: 
Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery
Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington Gate 3, Kelburn Parade Wellington


Curated by Susan Ballard and Sophie Thorn
With works by Len Lye, Peter Peryer, Phil Dadson, Shona Rapira-Davies, Paul Johns, Anne Noble, Rachel Shearer, Janine Randerson, Dane Mitchell, Sriwhana Spong, Raewyn Martyn, Alice Bonifant, Ngahuia Harrison and Sorawit Songsataya

Recent years have witnessed new responses from artists and curators to the uneven experience of living in the Anthropocene. Some artists are re-connecting environments with sensations, others create speculative objects with lives beyond the gallery.  Natural histories and human histories are converging, and art is once again taking a central role. Listening Stones Jumping Rocks extends these narratives of mourning and hope to the scale of the cosmos.

Listening Stones Jumping Rocks draws together items from the Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection with key loaned works to offer a re-examination of the boundaries between human and nonhuman, life and living, speculation and imagination. The artists gathered represent a timeline of engagements with the environment. They mourn the sixth great extinction. They ask us to bear witness. They combine ritual with research. They speak back. They remind us of our relationship with both materials and whenua. They turn to the planet. From Len Lye’s chance clap that echoes across millennia to Sorawit Songsataya’s feathered gathering of grief, these works raise questions about what might be seen and heard amidst the material ecologies of the Anthropocene. 

Listening Stones Jumping Rocks is curated by Susan Ballard and Sophie Thorn. The exhibition is presented to coincide with the first conference of the Association for the Study of Literature, Environment and Culture (Australia and New Zealand) to be held in Aotearoa: Ngā tohu o te huarere: Conversations beyond human scales. This conference, which is hosted by Te Herenga Waka’s Art History and English programmes and the Centre for Science in Society, will be held between 23 and 26 November 2021.

Summer closedown 18 December 2021 – 10 January 2022

Image: Ngahuia Harrison (Ngātiwai, Ngāpuhi), Pakora (to be low (of tide)), 2012, digital print. Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection, purchased 2018

Written by

Adam Art Gallery

15 Nov 2021

Personal Description