New Zealand Embassy Rome, Italy

Bill Culbert represents New Zealand at the Venice Biennale

Bill Culbert, Pacific Flotsam (2007). Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu. Plastic containers, fluorescent tubes, electrical cable. Photograph: John Collie.

Senior New Zealand sculptor, photographer and installation artist Bill Culbert has been commissioned by the Arts Council of New Zealand, Toi Aotearoa to exhibit at la Biennale di Venezia, which opens on 1 June, 2013.

Culbert’s career spans 50 years and more than 100 solo shows in New Zealand and internationally. He creates elegant, poetic and often dazzling sculptural installations using lights and found materials.

Bill Culbert was born in 1935 in Port Chalmers, New Zealand. He trained as a painter in the 1950s at the Canterbury University School of Art in New Zealand and gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London in 1957. In the 1960s he began to experiment with light and movement, and since the 1970s his art has encompassed photography, electric light, and found objects.

His site-specific exhibition, Front Door Out Back will be held in the New Zealand Pavilion, the Istituto Santa Maria della Pietà (La Pietà). The complex features a long entrance corridor made famous by its association with the Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi. From there, Bill Culbert’s exhibition will unfold through six further spaces, including a small outdoor garden, an internal courtyard and a doorway overlooking the canal Rio dei Greci.

For more information on New Zealand’s presentation at la Biennale di Venezia, see

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