Joy Wilkie, curator of Otaki Forks Artspace, Kapiti Coast

Otaki Forks Artspace

Otaki Forks Artspace

Joy Wilkie (Ngāti Tarawhai, Ngai Te Rangi) curates Otaki Forks Artspace and hosted this 5 day land art sculpture symposium. Works by 9 artists were in the bush, in the groves, among the trees, on the lawn. Other works by these artists were also in the gallery.

Joy lived in Paris for eight years taking in the opportunities to see a lot of contemporary art and be moved by it. She returned home with a heightened awareness of the beauty of the Otaki coast and the Tararua Ranges. She worked as coordinator for the “Real Art Roadshow” for its first three years. This is a truck fitted out like a gallery which takes contemporary NZ art to schools all around the country.

She began using her home and property as a gallery space in 2010 and hosted shows by artists: Michelle Backhouse, Malcolm Pittuck, Neville Smitheram, and Edward Walton.
In collaboration with Bill Milbank (who was director of the Sarjeant Gallery, Wanganui, 1978 – 2006, and now manages “WHMilbank Gallery” ( as well as continuing as a guest curator) “Touching Trusttum – Paintings by Philip Trusttum” a selection of works from three decades by Philip Trusttum was shown in Otaki Forks Artspace in 2011.
Read the review “Art Off the Beaten Track” by Mark Amery.

Another show in 2011 was “Where does this come from? A selection of works by Seven Artists” showing works by, Gerald Barnett – Whangarei (now Sydney), Terry Craig – Tucson, Arizona (now Albuquerque, New Mexico), Gary Freemantle, Rotorua (now Shannon), Rob McLeod – Glasgow (now Wellington), Neville Smitheram – Dunedin, (now Levin), Sue Soo – China (now Wellington), Philip Trusttum – Raetihi (then Christchurch). The show focused on traces of origins in the diverse artists’ works.

Conference of the Birds by Michelle Backhouse, 2011

Conference of the Birds
by Michelle Backhouse, 2011

The May 2011 show “Double-Sided” featured works inspired by Joy’s passion for screens (she is crazy about Robert Rauschenberg’s 1954 “Minutiae” created for the stage). The artists in this show were: Michelle Backhouse, Janet Bayly, Gary Freemantle, Rob McLeod, Neville Smitheram. Michelle Backhouse made a wire screen called “The conference of the Birds” while Gary Freemantle created mud paintings on frost cloth which fitted into the windows of the gallery space.

Otaki Forks Artspace
83 Kaitawa Road, Otaki Gorge
8 km inland from Highway 1 along the Otaki Gorge Road.
06-364 2044