Where the home is : The Christchurch Earthquakes 2010-2012


Where the home is, is a richly beautiful, sturdily put together project; a precious and unusual memento of one of the most extraordinary events in New Zealand’s recent history.

Andrew Paul Woods

I have just finished doing the prints for my exhibitions coming up at the Forrester Gallery, Oamaru and The Aigantigne Gallery, Timaru. Where the home is : the Christchurch Earthquakes 2010-2012 showing at the Forrester Gallery, 9 Thames Street, Oamaru 13 April till 15 July in a joint exhibition with artist David Wooding’ of earthquake paintings called Out of Order. On Saturday 28th April at 4.30 there will be a floor talk with Jane and David along with Christchurch artist Ross Gray whose exhibition Span is on at the same time.

On Monday 14 at 5.30pm Where the home is will be opening at PaperGraphica, 192 Bealey Avenue,Christchurch along with Fire at home by Eion Stevens and Dining in by Kelvin Mann

Quakers billed as a pop-up photographic exhibition about the Christchurch earthquake will be on at the Aigantigne Gallery at Wai-iti Road, Timaru, 5 – 20 May 2012.

Where the home is; the Christchurch Earthquakes 2010 –2012

Those of us who live in Christchurch take home the sights and sounds of our post quake day-to-day lives. I first got the idea of putting homes with quakes by seeing the intimate details of a bathroom revealed when walls were shaken down. My art practice is often a response to the events of my life. On February 22, 2011, I was in Manchester St, when I was flung to the ground as all around me the buildings collapsed. If I had been standing where I was a minute before, I would have been showered with glass and rubble. I picked myself up and I took photographs as I joined the evacuation. My painting studio in Lichfield St, which I had left 10 minutes earlier, was badly damaged and has since been demolished. Over the last year I have taken thousands of earthquake photographs which I am montaging into the living rooms of my friends and family as a way of expressing “the new normal’ here in Christchurch. It is a juxtaposition of normal life and tragedy. My images originate in a reality that I have been experiencing along with all of us who continue to live in Christchurch. All of us have a story and this is my experience of these times.

I am rapt that with the help of Mike Coker and Johnston Press I have produced yet another limited edition, high quality, digitally printed artist’s book. There are 76 pages with a hand printed, signed, archival cover in a numbered edition of 45 priced just to recover costs and get the work out there. Have a look at my shop to see how to get your copy.

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lochmara lodge residency

In January I had the good fortune to be artist in residence at Lochmara Lodge and Wildlife Sanctuary in the Queen Charlotte Sound in the Marlborough Sounds. I painted a series called we are the environment featuring birds and abstracted rivers and worked on and exhibited in the Huia Gallery for the first time some of the digital montage work in progress entitled my year of quakes. It was great getting such a positive public response and interest in what I was doing. My juxtaposition of normal life and tragedy seemed to evoke a chord with the viewers many of whom where from Christchurch.

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singing in the lifeboat opens 10 August

A unique, limited edition pre-publication subscription series

It’s a girl’s scrapbook and I like scrapbooks. This book’s got meat in it “
Malcolm McNeil

Opening 10 August at Mark Hutchins Gallery,
216 /A Willis St,
Central Wellington, New Zealand
ph 64 4 3859300

An edition of 45 numbered books, each in a unique, painted canvas satchel made by Jane Zusters herself and selling for $300 including GST. Proceeds to finance publication of a general print run. Orders to Mark Hutchins Gallery.
This well illustrated publication is the first book to survey the work of artist Jane Zusters. Comprising a foreword and chronology by Grant Banbury, with essays by Bridie Lonie, Cushla Parekowhai and Andrew Paul Wood exploring Jane Zusters’ innovative, multilayered art practice. Often concerned with an the interplay of personal identity – the self, history, and place – Zusters’ interests as an artist position her within the ever-changing playing-field of gender politics, contemporary interpretations of historical events, as well as specific ecological and conservation issues.

opening soon at Mark Hutchins Gallery Wellington

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earthquake art rescue in red zone Christchurch

studio web
Kia ora
Just letting you know on tuesday I got my filbert brushes back. I went to help Rua Pick who had got a call as a result of registering for the Hamish Keith Lost Art Site and so we were assigned engineers and Civil Defence staff who were awesome. They got carried away helping us as you can see from this photo. This was not part of their work brief. We had been told not to expect them to carry stuff for us in our initial briefing where they told us we would go to gaol if we left the group and went sightseeing. When we got there the entrance to my studio at 84 Lichfield St was red stickered and a complete no go area which means no one is allowed in.studio

The whole of the top floor was sitting on our floor . Until the engineers had inspected we did not know the roof had not caved into my part of the building. Initially they said it was too dangerous to go into 82 Lichfield St, the entrance Rua’s studio. I burst into tears when they told us this and got a big hug from the guy you can see in the photo with the red hat and the canvas roll. Then they changed their minds and gave us 10 minutes. I got in through the back door so to speak through a hole in the wall. I was told by Civil Defence if I was too frightened not to go in but this never crossed my mind.
I was assigned two engineers and allowed to go in through the 82 Lichfield Entrance and enter my studio through Rua’s studio where part of the wall had fallen down. With help you can get out a lot of stuff in 10 minutes. My area of the studio was very badly water logged so I was really pleased to get my brushes, staple gun, canvas pliers, Peter Langland’s photos, Ben Woolcombe’s prints,heaps of Karen Giles sketch books and paintings and one sodden,crumpled canvas of mine as a souvenir.
We are so, so, so grateful we were able to retrieve any work – a miracle actually!

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elegy for my studio

mystudio 84lichfieldst

I loved my studio at 84 Lichfield St. I was lucky enough to score it in 2008 when my friend Tiffany Thornley told me Anne-Marie Jean was leaving. It was like my old studio in Ponsonby from many years ago but at a Christchurch price I could afford. The High Street Project was next door on the same floor. I shared about 2000 square feet with Norbert who was retiring from being a display artist and Karen Giles, a passionate painter of water and islands. It took me 35 minutes to walk there from my home in Linwood and the bus terminal was opposite if I bused. After 12am on Saturday the parking was free so I used to take my car in with materials. In this composite photograph you can see the work Crown I did for the Academy of Fine Arts Artists as Activists exhibition last year. I liked being able to work on the floor and walls at the same time and I loved the scale of the work I was able to do here. Painting big really is exciting. When I was painting at home I could only do one picture at a time and the paint took forever to dry so I loved the expansion of my process possible in this space.

After the 20th September Earthquake our building was red- stickered and we were out of it for some months as the glass in the skylights fell into the stairs. Karen and i were so happy to be back. I had just done a complete tidy up and buy up of materials and started on my next projects. I am really sad about loosing my brushes as I had some fantastic Spanish filberts I bought in London eleven years ago for about 5 pounds each and these are utterly irreplaceable as is my special kit of etching burins for scrafitto. The paint just flowed out of my filbert brushes and they just got better and better with age. Gradually Norbert was disposing of 10 years of prop making and Karen and I were expanding and we had just made half the studio into an exhibition space. Norbert helped us make walls and we were very pleased with ourselves and our mates were lining up to do things in this venue. The Sunday before the quake we had our Artists for save our water Hurunui Water Matters exhibition open there. We had orginally been going to have it at the Linwood Community Centre / Te Whare Roimata but this had been closed because of the September earthquake. It was empowering having our own exhibition space.


Alby McCathy, Sally Hope, Ben Woolcombe, Karen Gillies, Peter Langlands, Elsie Ellison, Edward Snowdon and I lost the work we were exhibiting which was meant to open at Crossroads Gallery Cheviot on the 16th March. We were exhibiting artwork about the Hurunui River and Lake Sumner area as we do not want Lake Sumner to look like Lake Monowai, raised 2.4 metres in 1920 and still ringed with dead trees. The Hurunui farmers’ water wish-list, proposing more intensive irrigation, could mean the destruction of natural environments that we love and want to remain as they are. Once you dam a wild river it is destroyed forever.

As the third floor fell into our floor Leslie Shands and Dolly Hope who was looking after the water show, escaped down the stairs which now had perspex in the overhead skylights so they were not showered with glass, and clambered over the rubble of the third floor on the footpath. The building inspector who had inspected our space after the first earthquake, said he would not mind being in this building if there was a quake. Unlike some of the modern buildings the stairs held evan though the roof fell in. A few days later Leslie told me of their escape and warned me we would not get our stuff back unlike the first quake. Eion Stevens whose studio was on the third floor lost over 50 paintings. Karen lost ten years of painting. I lost all my painting stuff and some paintings but I was lucky most of my art was at my place. I had left the building five minutes before and was flung to the the ground as the buildings around me in Manchester St collapsed.

At the memorial service they played a 14 minute video of the inner city and when 84 Lichfield St appeared I exclaimed that’s my studio. Later I tracked it down on U tube and captured a blurry still. When Prince William said out of ” love comes grief ‘I acknowledged my grief for the city and studio I loved and are no more.

84lichfield st

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art quakes

Caryline Boreham, Kevin Capon, Paul Hartigan and Jane Zusters – Found: Documenting person, place and object in contemporary photography
01 Mar to 13 Mar 2011

Sanderson Gallery
251 Parnell Road
Auckland 1052
(09) 374 4476
opening march first

the price of love


the photo I took as I fell to the ground the moment of the quake

After the September 4 earthquake my house was one of the eighteen percent of houses with phone, power and water intact. I have no memory of waking up and getting under the doorframe but I narrowly missed being hit by a flying artwork with a metal spike. The art flew off the walls and but nothing else was broken. I went back to bed, not realising the extent of the damage until my neighbour knocked on my door at 7 am. A few days later I discovered bruises on both arms from being flung between the doorframe. For months I was denied access to my downtown studio but it was still standing. Glass had just showered down the stairwells.

On the day of the quake my friend Karl Gillies, former registrar of the Southland Art Gallery and Museum, rang and extorted me to get out there and take photographs. I protested that there would be heaps of people doing just that. He retorted “But you are an artist.’I started taking my digital camera with me wherever I went. I resolved not to be a “rubbernecker” one of those photo tourists who incurred the wrath of those householders whose dream houses were twisted amid the liquefaction.

I decided I would not go out of my way to photograph anything but only photograph where I was going anyway.
I started photographing some of the same sites in my neighbourhood time after time.

Coca Gallery had an exhibition in which people were invited to share their earthquake experiences which is what resulted in this Sanderson Gallery Invitation. I posted my earthquakeb photographs off the day before last Tuesday’s Quake. In hindsight after the destruction i witnessed on the 22nd February, they are like Bambi pics,

In the second quake I believe taking a photograph saved my life. I was flung to the ground and all around me I saw collapsing buildings. I was on clear ground because I was photographing a bulldozer . I involuntarily pressed the shutter as I hit the ground. One minute earlier I was standing in Manchester St in a spot that was showered by falling glass. My studio in Lichfield St, that I had left 5 minutes earlier, is no more. My friends got out but the top floor collapsed into my studio.

Our latest artists for save our water exhibition show Hurunui Water Matters is no more and will not be opening at Crossroads Gallery on the 16th march.

I kept snapping as I joined the evacuation.


the price of love

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coming up

thediscipline of water
The murray river matters/ Ramonda Te Maiharoa and Jane Zusters opening first april at the Newcastle University Gallery, GS Building, University Drive,Callaghan NSW 2308
blessing by AnneTe Maiharoa-Dodds
8 x 8 inches 150ppi
image by Ramonda Te Maiharoa

Recently Ramonda Te Maiharoa and Jane Zusters journeyed from the Murray river mouth at Goolwa to the Hume Dam photographing their impressions of this ravaged wonderland as a cautionary tale facing their Canterbury rivers, which the NZ government wants to fast track irrigation schemes for more intensive farming.
Settler culture has created a vision in which the water of the Murray has been stored, regulated and allocated for human consumption and economic production. The relationships between people, water, clay, reeds, insects yabbies, birds, grasses, trees and the needs of the river have been discounted. The resulting over allocation of water and resulting destruction of freshwater ecology demands a rethink of water management, law and policy.

The launch of Singing in the lifeboat – the art of Jane Zusters at Mark Hutchins Gallery, 218a Willis St, Wellington, on the tenth of August

JZbook Cover_print-1

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painting workshop at Corban’s Estate

I am delighted to be be teaching a painting workshop at the Corban’s Estate, West Auckland
17 – 21 January (5 days)
A Painting Voyage
Fee: $420 (materials not included) to enrol phone 0064 9 8384455/ 09 8384455/

Corban Estate Arts Centre presenting an exciting line up of contemporary New Zealand artists who will offer their skills and talents to stimulate and engage participants in a full-on learning experience involving exploration, pushing boundaries and having fun in the creative field.

Picture 5
The CEAC Summer School is set in the grounds and buildings of the historic Corban Winery in Henderson, Waitakere City. Included within the facilities, is the Gallery and Gallery Shop, located in the former Corban family homestead which exhibits a diverse range of artists.

This workshop is ideal for anyone wishing to develop a personal painting practice or who is seeking fresh stimulation. My focus is on enabling an individual’s creative journey rather than adhering to any particular technique, style or genre. I will create a structured and stimulating environment that is a safe launching space for creative experimentation. The studio practice will be accompanied by class outings, class exercises, discussions, demonstrations, readings and response sessions.

I am an experienced artist and tutor, familiar with many approaches to painting from landscape to abstraction. My philosophy is to make art from experiences that I feel passionate about. My multi media art practice combines pleasure in the purely visual with concerns as an environmentalist. I am an experienced art tutor who has facilitated numerous painting workshops.I have exhibited widely throughout New Zealand since the 70’s and am in most major national public collections including Te Papa Tongarewa, the Christchurch Art Gallery and Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

Join us in the Summer School experience and together we can create an exciting event that will expand our skills, broaden our sense of community and provide us with inspiration for a productive year ahead.

or more detailed information . Courses are likely to be popular and places are limited, so book early to secure a place.Click on the Corban’s Estate link below to find out more

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Christchurch After Shocks

Picture 1


We have been so lucky that the quake happened in the middle of the night and so no one was killed downtown. Today I put up this selection of photographs I took during the course of my normal activities and in my neighbourhood starting with the local dairy on the day of the quake. The building had the side collapse and they were still open and milk was being delivered. Gradually over the week all the other business were shut down in this block and when I wander past I just kept snapping. I have been very,very lucky as I live in an old timber house that just shakes around like a tree blowing in the wind. My hot water cylinder is leaking and the floors have moved but my house is fine.

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return of the moa

Haere mai and welcome to my August update of what I have been up to in my art practice.

I have been having a flat out time since I got back from my Murray River photographic trip in Australia with digital montage artist Ramonda te Maiharoa. The good news is the show Murray River Matters will be opening at The University of Newcastle Gallery, Australia 30 march 2011.

I am also one of the artists at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington as part of the Artists as Political Activists 21st August till 12th September

We are not islands
Think of a world
without bumblebees,
without whitebait,
without frogs.
without tuna,
without mutton birds
no kotare, heron or bittern

we are not islands for
we breathe each other’s breath


The work Crown and the video for love of the Mackenzie Country are my’ response to proposed water extractions to intensively farm 27,000 acres of land in the Mackenzie country. The letters are real and from politicians who were sent the video that plays along with the painting.Our pursuit of gross national product at the expense of the environment is not leading to gross national happiness for our rivers and lakes and the birds and the fish. We promote economic activity on the presumption that the social benefits outweigh whatever damage it might cause. However the resulting ecological damage is surpassing our ability to assimilate damage and degrading the ecological integrity of our environment. I believe we need to implement a wholly different structure for environmental decision-making that prioritizes sustainability and maintains the integrity of the ecological systems that we depend on rather than economic growth.
“Artists as Activists”, the Academy’s showcase for 2010 are: Brian Turner, Sam Mahon, Grahame Sydney, Dean Buchanan, Michael Smither, Nick Dryden, Ian Hamlin, Don Binney and Jane Zusters
NZ Academy of Fine Arts
1 Queens Wharf
Ph 04 383 584
Forest & Bird will be launching their ‘Save the McKenzie’ campaign at a
lunchtime opening also on 20 August
The show opens to the public at 10 am on the 21st with an artists discussion (over coffee) about their activism and art.


On the 10th August Visions of Utopia : A Group Exhibition of a perfect World will be opening at COCA Gallery, Christchurch, 10 August to 2 September. This is held in association with the Anglican Cathedral and all the work will be offered for auction at a special collaborative function to be held Thursday 2 September for supporters of the Cathedral and COCA. I am exhibiting a hinged construction on rimu entitled we are not islands



Picture 7

You are invited to attend: my solo show of recent painting at Quikcorp Gallery The return of the Moa where I take a wry look at the future.
we cloned that moa DNA
they’re running round again
the oils all gone
life’s rather raw
we get our tucker
from those moa
dairy cows have killed the plains
there aint much water
but we’ve got moa


Opening Wednesday 5.30, 11 August, Quiqcorp Art Space,
155 High St, Christchurch
11 August to 3 September 2010

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