MY CHOICE: Hannah Houshangi / February 2022
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MY CHOICE: Hannah Houshangi / February 2022

February 2022: Hannah Houshangi

Each month a member of our community is invited to browse our online collection and select six of their favourite artworks. Each My Choice selection, together with personal responses to the works, will be available to view on the Sarjeant Gallery website for one month at a time. The February 2022 My Choice has been selected by Hannah Houshangi and is available to view until 28 February, 2022.

Hannah Houshangi is the administrative assistant for the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. While she was born in Whanganui, she moved out of the region with her family aged 2 before returning to Whanganui after the birth of her first son. “Whanganui is such a fantastic place to raise a family as there is so much to do here while at the same time offering a slower pace of life”. She admits that it took living away from the region until her mid-twenties for her to learn this appreciation. With her 3 sons growing up and her eldest son leaving home Hannah is feeling nostalgic about those early child-rearing years and experiencing the first inklings of ‘empty nest syndrome’. Hannah’s My Choice selection is a mixture of works that either appealed to her tastes or reflect her strong affection for Whanganui.

Hannah’s Choices:

The Crystal Chain Gang Queenie 2013/1/1

“I love glass as an art medium. It’s fascinating to me how it can be cast or blown into tangible objects, whether that be a bowl or a decorative object. I discovered ‘blown away’ on Netflix recently and binged watched both seasons. I know this piece is cast glass and not blown glass but whatever the technique, I fell in love with glass! This is fun and playful. I like the two-tone colour of purple on the bottom and opaque clear glass on the top. I’d have something like this as a decorative piece of art in my home for no other reason then I like it and would feel happy and joyful any time I saw it.”

Antonia Frilli Mother and Babe 1977/37/1

“This sculpture makes me smile. If I had a magic time portal I would go back to when my boys were young and enjoy moments like this over and over. Of course, I would still return to the present day as my boys bring me so much happiness, but I admit the quantity of the hugs have diminished over the years and the certainly don’t have such adoration in their eyes when I do get them. Raising toddlers was such a special time for me and this sculpture captures how I felt about it.”

Adrian Jackman After Image 2013/3/1

“This is an example of the type of Art I would hang in my home. It’s geometric shapes and bold vibrant colours make it stand out in a contemporary way and the Tiki incorporates my New Zealand and Māori heritage, giving me a sense of identity to the painting. I love the merging of a modern abstract design with something steeped in culture and ancestry.”

William Mowbray Barraud Wanganui from Bastia Hill 1972/3/6

“I feel a sense of connection to this watercolour – the landscape is instantly recognisable to me and evokes a sense of ‘home’. I was born in Whanganui though moved out of the region at age 2 and never considered Whanganui my hometown. It wasn’t until I moved back in my 20’s and raised my children here that I reconnected with Whanganui and began to unlearn a lot of prejudices I had held about the place. I’ve lived here for 16 years now and I am a staunch Whanganui lover. There is so much going for our town and I shout it from the rooftops any chance I get.”

Gottfried Lindauer Māori Portrait 1948/2/1

“The realism of this painting blows me away. This was a time before coloured photography but is just as detailed to my eye. This work reminded me of C F Goldie when I first saw it, as my grandparents had a portrait painted by him in their home. At first glance I mistakenly thought this was a C F Goldie work as I was not aware of Gottfried Lindauer. I subsequently researched Gottfried Lindauer and was blown away by his paintings. Gottfried Lindauer (1839-1926), along with C.F. Goldie (1870-1947), was the most prolific and best-known painter of Māori subjects, in particular portraits, in the late nineteenth-early twentieth centuries. The accuracy, smoothness, and detail of Gottfried Lindauer’s paintings are quite literally, a work of art.”

Ans Westra Majestic Square, Wanganui 1996/3/28

“I really like this photograph featuring the Sarjeant Gallery building in the background and the stairs leading down to what is now Memorial Hall and majestic square. It’s a reminder to me that some things never change while other things do. This is just a photograph of a mundane day, nothing particular happening yet I can spend a good amount of time staring at it flipping between ‘oh the Sarjeant Gallery and steps look exactly the same’ to ‘the cars look old fashioned now and majestic square is different’. The photograph isn’t all that old. It was produced in 1993 so 28 years ago. I wonder if I stood on Victoria Ave today and took my own photograph (to compare in another 28 years) if much would be different? I also wonder if the man in the car knew he was being photographed or was he taking a nap? There are a number of Ans Westra photographs in the collection that I like – they capture everyday life in a candid unposed way and evoke memories of familiarity and/or nostalgia.”

Past Exhibitions 2022