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Above: Museum Registrar Laureen Sadlier with some of the new exhibits at Pātaka.
Nearly all of Pātaka’s 25,000 objects are on display in two exhibitions while its storage facilities are being upgraded.
“These exhibitions show the vast size and variety of our collection as we’ve never been able to reveal before,” says Museum Registrar Laureen Sadlier.
Many of the objects in the Recollections exhibition come from Porirua Museum and some have been taken out of storage for the first time since they came to Pātaka in 1982.
Recollections features an eclectic selection of personal and household items from the early and mid-20th century, with everything from toothpaste and medical equipment to an array of vacuum cleaners, toys and old tools on display.
As well, it showcases much of Pātaka’s Māori and art collection, with paintings and prints covering the walls from ceiling to floor.
Two of Ms Sadlier’s favourites in the Recollections exhibition are an old illuminated shop sign “Buy your Gold Ticket here” and a gas mask in its box. ”It really was a bit like Christmas here as we opened up boxes for the first time since they came to Pātaka – we never quite knew what we’d find.”
Next door is the exhibition The hoe and the hōiho in which Titahi Bay born artist Wayne Youle has put his spin on the objects out of storage, curating them to explore the idea of value.
The exhibitions run until 27 August, while the storage areas are upgraded with new wall linings and insulation and top quality museum standard fittings, including rolling shelves and art hanging racks.
“It was pretty chaotic before and this upgrade will ensure we can keep our objects in the best possible condition and it will make better use of our storage space, allowing us to better organise our objects,” says Ms Sadlier.
As part of the project, the Pātaka team is taking the opportunity to refine the collection. “All our objects must be of historical significance to the development of Porirua City and its peoples.”
Many of the historical objects currently on display will feature in several history exhibitions in the pipeline for this year and next.
21 Jun 2017