studio catherine griffiths


‘A whakapapa, two lines of women’ (an installation drawing)


details, installation drawing, 2016


In 2016, I was invited by Sophie O’Brien, Head of Collections and Exhibitions at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, to make a proposal for the exhibition ‘All Lines Converge’. A whakapapa, two lines of women, (an installation drawing), is one of 12 commissions presented in the artist publication accompanying the works in the gallery. My thanks to aunty Te Muri Turner, uncle John Hetet, my father Anthony, and his mother, for passing on their knowledge over the years and recently, their mātauranga of our whakapapa ... and to Bruce Connew, my husband, for journeying with me.


A whakapapa, two lines of women, (an installation drawing), 2016


(the painting)

Ellen Humphries
portrait, 1843
Frederick Stacpoole
oil on canvas
640 x 770mm


‘A whakapapa, two lines of women’

Charles Wilson Hursthouse is my great-great-grandfather ... an 1843 oil painting of his mother-in-law has come down one line of eldest daughters, beginning Ellen Hursthouse, and is now in my care. She leans on a wall in the lounge close by a keyhole rug from my ‘Club de Conversation’ series. In August 2016, I found my aunty, Te Muri Jo Turner, eldest great-granddaughter of Charles Wilson Hursthouse and Mere Te Rongopamamao Aubrey, on a journey from Auckland to Wellington via New Plymouth ... Oparure Road, the signpost said ... I knew this as the place where their daughter Rangimarie Hetet, sister of my great-grandmother Margaret Kate Lattey, was born ... I know I am a dot in this landscape of whakapapa, yet it is important to me.


(the rug)

Keyhole #6, 2012
‘Club de Conversation’
Catherine Griffiths
hand-tufted wool
1.0 x 2.0m

(made by Dilana Workshop)



... the publication, designed by Sonya Lacey (one of the 38 artists in the show), also presents little seen historical documentation of the Gallery’s exhibition history.

At the opening of All Lines Converge with Te Muri Turner (née Te Kanawa), my aunty, and our friend Gil Hanly, who photographed the Hetet/Te Kanawa whanau years ago ... this is the first time they met since back then.

photographs / Bruce Connew





03 other in(ter)ventions

an international typography symposium, Wellington, NZ

typ gr ph c
a series of compact workshops, Karekare, NZ

installations, exhibitions

7/7, 14 views
Te Tuhi Project Wall, 2023, Aotearoa NZ

Shanghai Art and Design Exhibition, 2017, CHINA

A whakapapa, two lines of women, an installation drawing
All Lines Converge, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, 2016, NZ

Installation with mirror and line
transitionalfieldwork, an exhibition, 2016, NZ

only U know ...
collaboration, Lela Jacobs AW17 Auckland, and SS17 Paris collection, NZ + FR

installation, Typojanchi 2015, 4th International Typography Biennale, Seoul, KR

The Tuwhare Poster Project
fund-raiser for the Hone Tuwhare Trust Writers Residency, NZ

memento :: motif
Proyecto de Arte Contemporáneo Alzheimer, Valparaíso, Chile

The Phone Book
a maquette, for the Club de Conversation project

Club de Conversation at S/F with Dino Chai, Auckland, NZ

Club de Conversation: Keyhole Series and Dials
rug series, Dilana Workshop, NZ

Sound Tracks
installation, The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, NZ

The Jets
short film, Paris, France


posters, protest, statements

The Best Design Awards
three posters, 2018, NZ

Labour of Love
another word-play poster, 2018, NZ

W in black
drawings in progress, 2017, NZ/FR

The Alphabet
front page takeover of the Sentinel & Enterprise newspaper for 26 days, Fitchburg, USA

The Brexit Series
a word-play poster series in response to Brexit

Raising the Flag
contemplative, suggestive — design unravelled, NZ

Protest Vessel 1/2 PRICE
a collaboration with ceramic artist Raewyn Atkinson, NZ


A whakapapa, two lines of women (an installation drawing), 2016

Commissioned work for All Lines Converge, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, 17 Dec 2016 – 20 Mar 2017

All Lines Converge

Curated by Sophie O’Brien and Chloe Cull

An exhibition of work by Aotearoa New Zealand art from the 1970s until today, with key works from the Govett-Brewster Collection

Including work by artists such as Fiona Clark, L. Budd, Christine Hellyar, Lisa Reihana and Maree Horner, this exhibition invites audiences to consider how the Gallery has built its collection over the past four decades.

By considering those artists in the collection, as well as selected artists who are not represented, this exhibition takes a broad and experimental approach to the traditional ‘collection exhibition’. Woven into a context of lesser known works by well-known practitioners are more recent works by a younger generation, charting the potential directions of the collection.

A publication accompanying the exhibition includes archival photographic documentation of artists’ installations, newly commissioned artist pages, and an essay by Wellington art historian Kirsty Baker providing historical context to the exhibition.

et al.
Darcell Apelu
Edith Amituanai
Wendy Bornholdt
Jordana Bragg
Mary-Louise Browne
Ruth Buchanan
L. Budd
Sarah Buist
Fiona Clark
Yvonne Coleman
Fiona Connor
Dale Copeland
Jane Dove
Charlotte Drayton
Luise Fong
Marti Friedlander
Catherine Griffiths
Gil Hanly
Christine Hellyar
Li-Ming Hu
Maree Horner
Sarah Hudson
Sonya Lacey
Tessa Laird
Vivian Lynn
Alison Maclean
Merata Mita
Joanna Margaret Paul
Biljana Popovic
Nova Paul
Shona Rapira Davies
Lisa Reihana
Pauline Rhodes
Dorothy Richmond
Marie Shannon
Susan Te Kahurangi King
Lauren Winstone

related links

All Lines Converge
Expanding a contemporary collection
Club de Conversation Series


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