Tag Archives: Arts Centre of Christchurch

At home with the reality of death – reflections on Teece Exhibition

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Curator, Teece Museum / Logie Collection, Terri Elder offers a personal perspective on the very popular exhibition Beyond the Grave: death in ancient times. 

It’s a somewhat strange situation to find that an exhibition all about death has turned into a celebration of life. The current exhibition at the Teece Museum  Beyond the Grave: death in ancient times, explores Greek and Roman attitudes to death and rituals around dying. It would be easy to imagine the topic being a little sad, but for me personally, I found the resulting exhibition is far from being gloomy or ghoulish.

 There are of course some very poignant details, such as the archaeological evidence of numerous infant graves, made necessary by the staggeringly high infant mortality rate in ancient Greece of 50%. The grief on the faces of the mourners depicted on the Canosan askos (JLMC 186.00) rings true in the face of such statistics.  There are also the bizarre stories of misadventure, like the ancient ‘urban legend’ which contends that the famous Greek playwright Aeschyllus met his end when a passing eagle dropped a turtle on the writer’s head! An unusual death for a soldier that had already survived the Battle of Marathon in 490 BCE.

However, the strongest message I get from the ancient artefacts included in this exhibition is that the ancient Greeks and Romans were perhaps a little more at home with the reality of death as a normal part of life than many of us seem to be today. 

Death was obviously a part of their everyday experience, and the ritual artefacts they left behind show an appreciation of celebrating and remembering their loved ones actively and regularly, not just at a funeral.

The Logie Collection’s array of white-ground lekythoi, which depict scenes of Greek mourners paying ritual visits to the graves of their ancestors, capture this very well.

The artefacts in ‘Beyond the Grave’ also have in common a sense of having been created with a real commitment to communicating both beauty and purpose. The lavish grave-marking vases and sculptures of the wealthy are exquisitely crafted and decorated, but even humble grave goods, (such as the miniature terracotta horse ca.740-720 BCE, of a type often found in the graves of children, JLMC 161.75), resonate with a sense of affection and thoughtfulness.  

The exhibition runs until February 2019 at the Teece Museum, so there is plenty of time to visit and explore for yourselves whether the ancient Greek and Roman experience of death is so very different from that of our own.”

WHERE: Teece Museum, 3 Hereford St, Christchurch

WHEN: Wed-Sun, 11am-3pm, to Sunday, 24 February 2019

Entry by donation

‘Surrounded by live music’ – Naomi van den Broek

It’s well worth a visit to explore the UC Arts city location – and perhaps meet UC Arts City Campus Manager Naomi van den Broek along the way. She shares a little about a vibrant busy life, which is full of music both in the office and after hours.

It’s not often you read a position description for a job and think “that’s me!” but that’s what happened when I saw the role of UC Arts – City Location Manager advertised.  I love arts and I love education so to find a job that incorporates both of those, which also includes running over 200 public events a year, having a world class museum on site, and being surrounded by live music all day was a bit of a dream come true really. Working in the Arts Centre is nothing to be sniffed at either.

Arts Centre highlights – I’ve been in the role for a year now and some highlights include the staging of The Oresteia for last year’s Christchurch Arts Festival, the three exhibitions that have been on at the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities, and seeing our talented music students perform alongside staff, professional musicians, and local high school students. The building is buzzing and no two days are quite the same.

I came into the role from a number of years spent in arts and not-for-profit fundraising. However, I’ve also had a 20 year history as a teacher of singing, performance and songwriting (I developed and taught songwriting at UC for a couple of years) as well as having a career as a singer, actress and pianist. Under the name Naomi Ferguson, I have done everything from large scale musicals and plays to festivals and concerts, both here in New Zealand and overseas.

As an independent artist, I primarily perform with my husband Alex van den Broek, a UC Alumni and former School of Music staff member. Alex is a well-known composer and arranger in New Zealand and plays piano, guitar and trumpet on our shows. We also write and record electronic music together under the name Speak Softly.

Slow fashion – some other fun facts about me are that I love to make my own clothes. Sewing is my number one hobby and most of my downtime is spent at my machine. I particularly like making clothes from second hand fabric (donations welcomed!) in support of the slow-fashion movement and to try and contribute as little to the huge quantities of textile waste polluting the planet every year. I also run a book club which is attended by a group of awesome women; some of my UC colleagues are regular attendees. We’ve been going strong for five years.

Top secret – in collaboration with UC colleagues, English Lecturer Dr Erin Harrington, and Head of School for Music Associate Professor Dr Glenda Keam, I am currently working on a really exciting piece of music and theatre for WORD Christchurch 2018. It’s top secret at the moment, but really worth keeping an eye out for once the festival programme is released later this year.

It’s been a great first year here at the Arts Centre site. If you haven’t come down for one of our concerts or to look through the museum yet, I encourage you to do so. We love seeing our Ilam colleagues down here, and given a few hours’ notice, I can usually arrange a look around the building.

Mā te wā.


Classics and Music move to Arts Centre


Over the last few weeks UC Classics and UC Music have been relocating into the restored Chemistry building, at the Arts Centre of Christchurchformerly the University’s campus until the 1970s.

The Chemistry building has been transformed into a purpose-built space over four floors. It features music practice suites, a recital space, a small lecture theatre and library, offices for Classics and Music staff, student workstations and a social area.

Some classes and music recitals are already running in the new space, and weekly Composition Workshops and New Music concerts are held each Monday which are free to attend. Friday lunchtime concerts will also start soon.

A new exhibition space, the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities, is due to open in mid-May. The museum will showcase UC’s highly valuable James Logie Memorial Collection, allowing greater public access to view the treasured collection of Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Near Eastern artefacts.

The move  provides more public performance opportunities for Music students and puts UC’s Classics and Music departments in the ideal location for greater collaboration with the local and international arts community.

The building, along with the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities, will be officially opened in late May.

Information for those travelling between UC and the Arts Centre is available here.

The public will be able to attend music performances held in the new recital space.

Recital Room

The entrance to the Chemistry building (from the South Quad) has been restored to its former glory.


The new student social space in the loft (right) and new learning spaces.

Interior rooms

Stairs – a blend of the old and the new.



*All images supplied by Warren and Mahoney, photographer Sarah Rowlands.