Rebecca tells Fox about her determination to maneuver south.
Catherine Hammond spent hours immersing herself within the lifetime of nineteenth century painter Francis Hodgkins – and now she walks in her sneakers.
One in every of Dunedin’s favourite women, Hodgkins was born within the metropolis and started her portray profession right here, earlier than turning into one of many leaders of the English avant-garde motion.
Her time in Europe was the topic of a complete e book Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys It was co-edited by Hammond and Mary Kessler in 2019 which has accompanied a touring exhibition that has gone worldwide.
Nonetheless, Hammond hasn’t spent a lot time in Hodgkins’ residence city but – together with her appointment as librarian of the College of Otago’s Hokkien Assortment.
“Now I can observe in her footsteps. I wandered alongside the road the place she was born, and the home is not there, however you may really feel the good homes of that day.”
Hammond’s transfer south from Auckland is the primary time she’s lived on the South Island. She grew up in East Tamaki and studied artwork historical past on the College of Auckland earlier than enterprise her research on the Library in Wellington.
For the previous 20 years, she’s lived in Auckland, and her solely expertise within the South is with family-friendly holidays in Central Otago and Queenstown.
“It is so stunning. There’s a actual sense of pleasure in transferring to this a part of the nation.”
A part of the enchantment of the brand new job, she says, is the chance to settle in a brand new metropolis. Hand in hand, after all, with profession development, working in among the finest analysis libraries within the nation with its affiliations with universities and taking up the accountability of a bigger crew.
“There’s a sense of journey as a result of you haven’t lived in Te Waibunamu [South Island]. Hocken has an amazing place within the cultural heritage sector as one of many premier analysis libraries within the nation.”
Hammond was Head of Documentary Heritage on the Auckland Struggle Memorial Museum Tamaki Benga Hira and was beforehand Director of Analysis Library at Auckland Artwork Gallery Toi o Tamaki.
“They’re very related collections there, a mix of archives, libraries, art work; actually vibrant collections. I like working with these collections.”
Having spent 18 years on the Auckland Artwork Gallery, she has lengthy been identified for Hocken’s artwork collections.
“It is a nice drawing card, too.”
She was additionally a secretary to the Colin McCahon Analysis & Publication Belief which represents one other artist with sturdy connections to Dunedin.
“There are nice holdings of his work right here and Colin and Anne’s papers are saved right here too – there are plenty of mates in these collections for me.”
In her new function as Hocken, Hammond needs to construct on the work she did on the Struggle Memorial Museum to strengthen his ties to the group.
“I might prefer to see us strengthen it right here at Hocken.”
Whereas the group has a powerful patriotic vibe, there have been heaps of potential to strengthen this reference to its local people.
“At this level I am studying and attending to know who’s utilizing us, what our viewers is and what our applications are.”
The broad nature of Hocken’s collections means there’s a lot to study and so they begin from scratch in some ways.
“It is an amazing privilege and plenty of enjoyable. You meet some outdated mates and make new ones.”
She is aware of that there’s at all times an expectation of change when a brand new chief begins in a corporation.
“Being related is basically vital, how related can Hocken be to teachers, college students on the college and the broader group, so we develop applications to make that occur.
“I want to meet new individuals.”
Having undertaken a significant digital challenge round Frances Hodgkins group indexing, she is aware of there’s a lot that organizations can do within the digital area.
“I believe we are able to carry teams to life on-line for individuals. Covid has proven us that the digital area has grow to be crucial for researchers. Now we have an amazing personalised service however I believe there’s a lot we are able to do on-line. It will positively catch the attention of me.”
Hammond has additionally introduced together with her a challenge – a collaborative challenge with the Memorial Museum and Turnball Library on a showcase of New Zealand’s first pictures. She can be modifying a e book in regards to the exhibition.
“This might be a very cool challenge to get my tooth into the teams right here and actually study.”
Whereas Hammond has taken a couple of facet steps through the years from working in New Zealand Tourism in Los Angeles and incomes a legislation diploma, she has at all times discovered her means into bookstores and assortment work.
“I like this world, and exhibitions and publishing are one other love of mine – how one can interact a gaggle with individuals in all other ways and convey them to life.”
However she additionally found a love of managing individuals when she had her first probability on the Memorial Museum.
“I discovered that I beloved serving to others make it occur. It’s extremely fulfilling.”
So its new performance suits all squares. As soon as her household joins her, every part can be full. She has a son who completed highschool in Auckland this 12 months, however Hammond hopes they’ll each be settled by the tip of the 12 months.
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