As part of celebrating the portrait of June, Lady Hillary, the Welcome Swallow Gallery invites the first people who enter the gallery each morning to perform a short unveiling ceremony, opening the curtains that were drawn at the conclusion of the previous day.
Pictured below are two young art collectors in the making. The Gallery thanks them for participating in this tradition that will continue until early next year when the portrait will be located at its permanent home at the Auckland Museum as part of the national archive in the Sir Edmund Hillary collection.
Pictures from the unveiling of the June, Lady Hillary portrait
Lady June and Mark Sainsbury
David Reeves - Head of Collections, Auckland Museum
Artist Rebecca Dowman-Ngapo (and daughter, Kaea)
MC Mark Sainsbury
The Griffiths Duo
Welcome Swallow Gallery: Portrait of June, Lady Hillary - A very special day
M E D I A C O V E R A G E
A superb short film of this event made by Nimbus Media can be found on our Facebook page:
and also on our instagram page at:
F U L L C O V E R A G E (A L L SP E E C H E S)
can be found on the Gallery YouTube channel at:
a digital news media story is at:
Over 120 guests packed the Welcome Swallow Gallery to participate in the much anticipated unveiling of the portrait of June, Lady Hillary by gallery artist Rebecca Dowman-Ngapo. Speeches were made by Clive Gilson, Chair of the New Zealand Hillary Centenary Steering Committee, Board Chair and Chief Executive of the Achieving Change for Children Charitable Trust, Dr. Dorothy Gilson, artist Rebecca Dowman-Ngapo, David Reeves, Head of Collections at Auckland Museum and finally by Tom Scott, author and film-maker. The event was expertly MC'd by Broadcaster, Mark Sainsbury who also thanked the event sponsors, Ebbett Audi.
Before and after the official proceedings, guests enjoyed special music instrumentation from Martin Griffiths (Cello) and Celia Griffiths (violin). Lunchtime food was provided by "Prof's @ Woodlands", served by Waikato University Hillary Scholarship students, Isabella MacDonald, Fletcher Moles, Tara Given and Georgia Robcke.
The portrait that was unveiled by Lady June's daughters, Robyn Mulgrew and Susan Hayman received universal praise for the manner in which it captured the essence of Lady June's character. After being on display at the Welcome Swallow Gallery, the portrait that has been gifted to the Auckland Museum will be relocated where it will enter the national archive as part of the Hillary collection.
Chair of the New Zealand Hillary Centenary Steering Committee and Welcome Swallow Trustee, Professor Clive Gilson saw this occasion as an important part of the Gallery’s contribution to both history and art.
“Sir Edmund Hillary’s life left an enormous legacy for New Zealand. His wife, June, Lady Hillary visited Antarctica three times; took groups of women to Nepal to trek through the Himalayas and through the work of the Himalayan Trust in New Zealand spent many years working on raising funds for Nepal. When Sir Ed was the High Commissioner to India she also ran many of the committees that underpinned the work of the commission. Lady June is a formidable figure across the New Zealand landscape, so this portrait is a significant contribution to capturing her importance to the nation”.