The Last Post Office is part two of the exhibition ‘Return Mail’, which was shown at WCAG in October 2020.
It includes works on slate honouring postage stamps; envelopes; postcards and the gradual disappearance of handwritten letters, correspondence and Post Offices.
These two shows have evolved from Denis O’Connor’s labyrinthine archive established during fifty years living and working on Waiheke Island.
Some slates call up significant artists who have made Waiheke home over this time - people like the poet Sam Hunt and theatre legend, the late Warwick Broadhead.
Denis’ essay “Culture, Beachcombing and Uncontrolled Dancing, in ‘The Spirit of Waiheke’, published in 2020 introduces us to an array of artists who have lived on Waiheke and are featured in his works.
A slate work “First Post’, honours Waiheke’s first postal services conveyed by pigeons in the 19th century.
Significant historical figures make guest appearances and he imagines two fictitious stamps featuring local folk heroes - the mariner Jonny Wray and the Music Museum founder Lloyd Whittaker.
As if replacing aerograms by their presence, Denis name-calls three bird species that have appeared on the island, spoonbills, bitterns and a falcon sighting.
Both of O’Connor’s social history exhibitions are prequels to the ‘Motukaha Post Office|The Last Post Office’, his architectural sculpture that will feature in Sculpture on the Gulf 2022.
This exhibition will also include a small collection of items from his personal archive.
Visit the online catalogue HERE
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