In early 2020, Arthur and Gie set off for New Zealand. What started as a converted truck quickly
turned into a mobile art gallery, in which the duo lived and exhibited for a year.
The curatorial project
itself, based on its temporary life cycle, unfolded as 16 exhibitions across 7 locations, each addressing themes around the concept of life from love through to nostalgia.
The Nomadic Art Gallery’s story cannot be separated from that of daring Belgian couple Arthur Buerms and Gie. Having met during their studies when running Life of L, an organization producing
multidisciplinary exhibitions across Europe, Arthur and Gie share a passion for exploring, and pushing, the boundaries of art – what constitutes art? How autonomous is art? In how far is art influenced, if not defined, by the context in which it appears?
In 2020, eager to further probe these themes, they founded The Nomadic Art Gallery, an initiative rooted in the notion that art evolves with its context – as do how, and by whom, it is perceived.
As they gradually turned their attention towards a seldom presented New Zealand art scene and to how
their project could contribute in shedding light onto it, in particular to Western audiences, they fortuitously
met Auckland-based art collector Kent Gardner. A trustee of New Zealand’s reputed Arts Foundation Te
Tumu Toi, intent on supporting and fueling the local art scene, he soon became a keen supporter of the
project, most notably entrusting Arthur and Gie with the task of creating for him a collection of New
Zealand art: one that would result from their on-the-ground research – an untouched, unbiased snapshot
onto an art scene poorly known by the international eye, focused until this day on the country’s northern
Today, their nomadic time in New
Zealand is held in two lasting records. The first, Kent Gardner’s resulting family collection, housed at his
home on Waiheke Island – a selection of 66 works reflecting Arthur and Gie’s research and the resulting
exhibition program – as he continues to this day to share and support their project and commitment to
shedding an international light onto the New Zealand art scene. The second, the truck itself, which now
stands as a public artwork in the island’s Connells Bay Sculpture Park.
Having returned to Europe in 2021, Arthur and Gie proceeded to the second part of The Nomadic Art
Gallery’s New Zealand chapter – the first of, what they had now understood, many cyclical focuses onto
rarely discussed art scenes across the world.
While the first part brought forth the transitional nature of the project – both geographically and
temporally – the second part elicits a fixed, physical location, where the duo presents a curatorial agenda
aimed at introducing and promoting the New Zealand art scene among a broader, European audience.
A temporary snapshot onto a specific art scene at a given moment in time, The Nomadic Art Gallery
today acts as a bridge between continents, a platform for New Zealand artists, in this first iteration, to
share broadly the poorly known discourses that feed their creation – fragmented as they may be, all
reclaiming their voice and identity on an international scale.