Monday, June 27, 2011

Len Lye Centre gets govt support

Green light for Len Lye Centre.
The Taranaki Daily News reports that on Saturday "... Arts Minister Chris Finlayson pledged $4 million over two years for the construction of the $10m centre. The cash is believed to be the last grant to come out of the Government's Regional Museums Policy fund, with the rest being diverted to the Christchurch city rebuild."

I love Len Lye. His work is incredible (whether in film, kinetic sculpture, painting, photography or writing), and he's one of the greatest artists this country has ever produced.

He left here in his early 20s, and spent most of his career in England and then the US, but maintained a lifelong interest in his homeland. He visited here for several exhibitions in the late 70s, including a show at the Govett Brewster Gallery, which he later bequeathed his works to. The Len Lye Foundation is based there and has an annual exhibition showing Lye's work.

Lye pioneered direct film making (painting/scratching directly onto film), see these examples... they give a you a general idea of what his work was like, though seeing these as projected films is really quite spectacular. He worked as a film maker for the GPO Film Unit (part of the British Post Office) and some of these were used as ads played in UK cinemas before a movie. Radical stuff, huh?

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