The Nomadic Art Gallery is an art gallery on wheels that has travelled the whole of New Zealand during the year 2020. With a total of sixteen hosted exhibitions, reaching each corner of New Zealand and involving more than 106 artists, this art gallery has aimed to challenge people’s perception of art.
This project is run by Arthur Buerms and Eugénie, a dynamic couple from Belgium with a strong passion for art and entrepreneurship. Arthur Buerms, the brain behind the exhibitions, is a freelance art curator with a legal background and specialization in copyright law. Whether in art or in law, Buerms has always been driven by the fine boundaries in art: what constitutes art? And in how far is art influenced by its environment? Also intrigued by the social discrepancies and controversies within the art scene, the Nomadic Art Gallery strives to bridge the gap between artists and the often-assumed and so-called “elite” by bringing art to the public.
The Nomadic Art gallery is a result of the multiple exhibitions Buerms has organized throughout Europe, more specifically in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Berlin, and Craiova, in which he always strived to step away from traditional boundaries and approach art from a different angle. This different angle could, however, hardly be achieved without Eugénie, the social brain behind the project. Passionated by people and the stories behind these, she adds a human dimension to the gallery by reaching out to people on different levels and revealing, through interviews and photographs, the artists behind the artworks.
By combining their complementary skills, the pair succeeds in writing a success story and looping the loop in less than a year. Buying a truck and converting it into an art gallery, finding more than 100 people to support their project, conducting two crowdfunding campaigns and hitting their target twice. As well as finding locations to host exhibitions, reaching out to artists around the country, organizing guerilla-style exhibitions, dealing with mechanical turndowns and surviving a pandemic.
From an organizational point of view, and in order to reflect the Nomadic Art Gallery’s ephemeral and accessible nature, the overarching exhibition theme is “LIFE”, with as first exhibition “BIRTH” and last one “DEATH”. Based on those themes, including “GROWTH”, “FREEDOM”, “IDENTITY”, “ALIENATION”, “BELIEF”, "LOVE" and “NOSTALGIA”, the pair selects artworks from both emerging and established artists through which those stages of life are reflected upon. Striving to represents as many art forms and artists as possible, from painting to poesy, sculpture, and body art, their exhibitions always take place at different venues and locations in New Zealand.
Alongside the exhibitions held inside the gallery, the outside of the vehicle has gradually become an artwork in itself as the pair invited artists, throughout their journey, to paint on the truck. In this way, The Nomadic Art Gallery physically unites 106 New Zealand artists, forever immortalizes the pair’s unique adventure while celebrating Aoteroa’s diverse art scene.
SInce January 2021, the truck has become a temporary sculpture at Connells Bay Sculpture Park, on Waiheke Island, where visitors have the opportunity to discover the best of New Zealand's contemporary art scene.
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