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Staff Exhibition  

Ground Works 

19 May - 3 June 2022

Fundraising to acknowledge the lost E. Mervyn Taylor mural

The Learning Connexion School of Creativity and Art (TLC), is housed in what was once the New Zealand Soil Bureau, a government research centre established to investigate the specifics of our soil in Aotearoa, such as the implications it had for farming. Groundworks, an exhibition opening on 19 May, continues this investigation, but by looking at the other applications that ground, soil, earth, clay can have in an artistic frame.

Groundworks is a collaborative exhibition of works in different mediums referencing the soil – all made by the incredible and multi-faceted team of staff at The Learning Connexion. Staff (from tutors to admissions) have created specific pieces, or reflected on their practice – finding ties to the soil already existing in their work. As part of the programme taught onsite, materials from the earth are regularly transformed through bronze casting, Raku ceramic firing, Oamaru carving or stone setting.

Fifty percent of proceeds from the exhibition will go towards fundraising to install a digital image of the First Kumera Planting / Kia Kitea Te Waewae Tangata mural (1962) by respected New Zealand artist E. Mervyn Taylor, that is masked by layers of paint in the school foyer. Unfortunately, the mural cannot be easily uncovered, as these methods would result in damage to the original paint. This exhibition is a grassroots collaboration by staff to start the journey that this project brings. 

To achieve an appropriate outcome in honouring this work, we have the kind support and expertise of Sarah Taylor, Mervyn’s granddaughter and administrator of the E. Mervyn Taylor Estate, and Dr. Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, editor of Wanted: The search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn Taylor (Massey Press: 2018) and co-Director of Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand a research initiative at Toi Rauwhārangi Massey University College of Creative Arts. 


Opening: 19 May, 5:30pm - 7pm

Gallery Open: Mon -  Fri, 9am -  2pm

The Learning Connexion 

182 Eastern Hutt Road, Taitā, Lower Hutt

0800 278 769


|TLC| Gallery 


Selected Works

ground II  

Naked Still Life
Leo Semau
Restricted Programmes Mentor
Raku fired Ceramic Vessels


Born from the Womb of Papatūānuku
Grant Barriball
Whenua, dry pigment, gold foil, acrylic
59 x 78

Kete Whiri
Bailey Barriball 
Harakeke, Kumara 

View the Exhibition Catalogue below