Len Lye Centre Opens in New Plymouth
“Travel to New Zealand for the love of art,” declares India Today in a feature about New Plymouth’s brand new Len Lye Centre, New Zealand’s first gallery dedicated to a single artist.
The Len Lye Centre building, adjoining the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, is an example of innovative thinking in both engineering and architecture.
The external stainless steel façade echoes the artist’s use of the metal in many of his kinetic sculptures, and the futuristic style of the building acts as a counterfoil to the neighbouring Govett-Brewster’s more traditional lines.
The architects are Pattersons, one of New Zealand’s most internationally recognised architectural firms.
The new building features Lye’s work in kinetic sculpture, film, painting, drawing, photography, batik and writing, as well as related work by contemporary and historical artists. It also houses a state-of-the-art 62-seat cinema – a welcoming environment for audiences to experience Lye’s films, local and international cinema, arthouse and experimental films, and regular film festival programming.
Gallery director Simon Rees told Taranaki Daily News: “Lye was an artist and personality like no one else. He deserved a home for his work that was equally like nothing seen before in New Zealand. It needed a ‘wow’ and setting out with a brief like that presents its own challenges.”
With Lye’s international reputation the centre is expected to generate tourism and garner worldwide recognition, Rees said.
Design director Andrew Patterson told Taranaki Daily News he drew inspiration from the region for the stainless steel facade.
“Because of its dairy and gas industries stainless is, in architectural terms, Taranaki’s local stone. The finished building is a showcase for this expertise,” Patterson said.
Lye died in Warwick, New York in 1980.
Original article by India Today, July 24, 2015.