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Glen Hayward: Wish You Were Here

Glen Hayward's new exhibition asks the question: just because it's in a gallery, does that make it art?
By Sarah Templeton
May 26, 2022
By Sarah Templeton
May 26, 2022

Have you ever stood staring at a piece of work you've been told is "great art" and felt a little..confused? You're not alone — and that's the idea behind Glen Hayward's somewhat cynical, somewhat surreal new exhibition at Wellington's City Gallery.

Blending carving, painting and conceptualism, Wish You Were Here asks what is art or not art? What is profound or absurd?

Some highlights from this exhibition on until September 11 include a sculptural recreation of the interior of a Toyota Corolla from Hayward's childhood; Neo's office cubical from The Matrix made from a screenshot; a hidden-in-plain-sight utility cupboard from inside Whanganui's Sarjeant Gallery; and an accoutrement-studded ceiling from Melbourne's swanky Windsor Hotel.

There are also wood carvings from Hayward's Whanganui studio inspired by his travel to some of the world's major art galleries, where he came away with "bad photographs of fixings such as the gold drinking fountains and handrails from the Guggenheim Museum, and the ceiling pipes in Walter De Maria's New York Earth Room".

This exhibition forces the viewer, to look, think and look again. Afterwards, you'll probably need to muse for a while, so follow your nose to the familiar scent of coffee and good food to the Nikau Café to grab a treat and reflect.

Images: Elias Rodriguez

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