Govett-Brewster Art Gallery: exhibition of contraband tapestries attracts visitors from across the country


The exhibition attracted many visitors. Photo/ Provided

At the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and New Plymouth District Council’s Len Lye Center, an exhibition of tapestries smuggled out of Afghanistan attracted around 21,800 visitors, including around 16,000 from outside Taranaki.

“There’s No Other Home But This” ran as an exhibition at the March Gallery in mid-June and featured works by Areez Katki, Te Whanganui-a-Tara , Wellington-based, and Sydney-based artist Khadim Ali.

Spanning embroidery, sculpture, painting and animation, the works connected contemporary life with the shared Persian heritage of the two artists.

Gallery director Dr. Zara Stanhope says the gallery has long been a destination for cultural tourism.

“This was underscored when Lonely Planet recognized the Len Lye Center as the second best regional destination in 2017.

“The high figures for this exhibition indicate that the Gallery and contemporary art have a role to play in attracting visitors to Taranaki and supporting the regional economy, and can attract a wide and engaged audience based on our exhibition programs. exhibition, despite changes in visitor habits as we all navigate Covid-19.”

Data provided by Venture Taranaki backs this up, finding that the region has been one of the fastest growing in terms of visitor spending over the past year, up 10% year-over-year so far. at the end of February, with cultural and tourist experiences among the most dynamic sectors.

Stanhope recalls that many visitors said they hadn’t been to Taranaki in years.

“They were impressed with what they found here, including the Gallery, where our audience survey found a record 93.6% of visitors had a positive experience.”

Find out more about upcoming exhibitions and activities at


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