Serenity Festival 'Memories' scrapbook

Hamish Horsley, Maker

This is one of the books in our collection. It was made in Whanganui, Whanganui Region, New Zealand in 1972-1973.
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Object Detail

About the Work
This scrapbook which documents the ‘Serenity Arts Festival’ held at Putiki, Whanganui, 14th-16th December 1972. It was organised by friends Hamish Horsley and Don McLeod as an alternative arts festival as, unhappy with attitudes towards exhibitions and art at the time, they wanted the audience to be able to interact with the artist more directly.
The three day festival, for which tickets cost merely $1.50, included a programme of art exhibitions, music, poetry, dancing, theatre, yoga sessions, craft and food stalls as well as events, such as an interpretive dance party, at the nearby Four Seasons Theatre. There was a distinct international flavour with the inclusion of a South African drummer Bauxhau, and an Aboriginal didgeridoo player. Other notable acts were jazz pianist Dollar Brand, poet Sam Hunt, and the Blerta bus – a group of actors and musicians led by Bruno Lawrence and Geoff Murphy who travelled the country in a red bus performing as they went. One of the unexpected outcomes was the relationship that developed between the festival attendees and nearby Putiki Marae and on the last day everyone was invited onto the Marae.
Attendance was estimated at around 1,500 with 800 people camping in the surrounding paddocks.
The scrapbook is a priceless capsule of a unique event in Whanganui’s history and contains correspondence of the festival planning, newspaper clippings from the extensive media coverage, intricately decorated postal envelopes and numerous black and white photographs recording the event. Hamish Horsley gave the scrapbook to the Sarjeant Gallery during his exhibition ‘Near to Heaven’ in 1997.
- Jennifer Taylor Moore, Curator of Collections, Sarjeant Gallery 'Revealed. Collection Discoveries from our recent move' exhibition 2016
380 x 265 x 25mm
photographs, news clippings and letters mounted in a wirebound scrapbook
A scrapbook containing numerous photos, news stories and ephemera relating to the Serentiy Festival held in Whanganui some time in the 1960s.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Gift of Hamish Horsley, 1997
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date



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