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Ashburton Art Gallery

327 West St

Ashburton | 7700

P | 03 308 1133

E |

Gallery Hours

Open Daily: 10am - 4pm

Wednesday: 10am - 7pm

Closed Good Friday, Anzac Morning and Christmas day


Once a Wilderness




11 June - 31 July 2020

Open Daily: 10am - 4pm

We still love the idea of a wilderness, an untouched land to discover. However for the most part, wilderness is dead. What we are mostly left with are dilutions of wild areas – greenhouses, winter gardens and pockets of bush – manufactured wild areas. These spaces exist in stark contrast   with what wilderness is supposed to mean; untouched by humans.

The Botanic gardens’ greenhouses act as one of these imitations, in the most exotic way. Historically they were filled with plants taken from the colonies in a grand display of power and scientific wonder. When they were first conceived, Botanical gardens existed as a way to organise the plant world into a western understanding, to construct The Truth, while still demonstrating the wealth and power of the elite. The greenhouses acted as the most surreal and spectacular facet of this demonstration, while creating the illusion of being elsewhere. Ironically outside of the walls of the greenhouses the opposite happened. Plants were removed and the landscape reconfigured, creating large manicured lawns and pathways, establishing colonial order, and ‘civilising’ the landscape.

Lysaght uses archival images and botanical gardens, to explore their histories and contexts as eurocentric institutions, focusing on the limits and possibilities they hold to examine the wider world.

Ashburton born Wellington based Ben Lysaght has Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) from Massey University (2019). Once a Wilderness marks his first solo exhibition.


11 June - 31 July 2020

Open Daily: 10am - 4pm

Wednesday: 10am - 7pm


13 August - 27 September 2020

Celebrating Fibrecrafts

Ashburton Fibre Arts Group

To celebrate the Golden Anniversary of the Ashburton Creative Fibre Group, Celebrating Fibrecrafts is a showcase of both…


26 July - 30 August 2020

echo of memories

Michael Holland

This winter, the large dream-like paintings of Christchurch-based painter Michael Holland will fill the Carr Family Gallery and…


10 September - 13 November 2020

north by northwest

Mizuho Nishioka

A cutting-edge approach to photography will be on show in the Carr Family Gallery this spring through Mizuho…


27 June - 19 July 2020

intersecting views

Group Exhibition

This year Ashburton College art students have been exploring the works of three artists included in the Ashburton…