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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


6th July – 30th July 2021

ASA | 57th Annual Exhibition

Ashburton Society of Arts

The Ashburton Society of Arts (ASA) Annual Exhibition returns to the Gallery this July. This exhibition is a…


April - October

Cinéma of the Rorschach

Mark Soltero

Working almost exclusively in a monochromatic palette, Mark Soltero will be transforming our foyer wall into a cinematic…


4 April - 16 May 2021

On Returning

Hamish Coleman

“Particular locations in Hakatere insist on providing a backdrop for many of my nighttime dreams: a sort of…


18 April - 18 June 2021

A Stone to Strike and a Rock to Stumble Over

The Associates

The Associates are an affiliation of artists, representing a variety of disciplines, exchanging and sharing the knowledge and…