Local artist Reuben creates colossal cake for gallery birthday bash


Celebrated local artist Reuben Paterson’s piece - a colossal, glittery cake – is set to take centre stage for the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s 50th street party.

Reuben, best known for his giant tree The Golden Bearing which has previously been a huge hit at the gallery and the TSB Festival of Lights, has worked on the cake for two months. 

The two-metre tall behemoth uses 5kg of glitter and will be the centrepiece of the party on Saturday 29 February marking 50 years since the NPDC-owned and operated gallery first opened its doors.

 “I don’t want to spoil the surprise but all I can say is once the cake is activated people will be blown away,” says Reuben. “Fifty years is a significant milestone for a gallery, and to help celebrate this you have to have a monstrous two-metre tall cake covered in glitter!

“It is of course the second glittering centre piece after the perfection of our sparkling gallery as we acknowledge the history of Monica Brewster's legacy and the journeys the gallery has taken us all on, in its golden 50th jubilee year.”

The two-metre tall by 1.8-metre wide cake includes a number of tiers and includes fabrics and dresses dating from the 1970s to the present day in honour of the 50-year celebrations and of Monica Brewster . “We have all been on a beautiful journey with the Govett Brewster Art Gallery so the fabric patterns and floral designs, which are all painted in glitter, share their own genealogy of swirling curls that come to represent these journeys.”

While Reuben’s artwork is not edible, there will be cupcakes to mark the anniversary and a brew created by New Plymouth firm Shining Peak, Mrs Brewster NZ Pale Ale, will also be served to party-goers.

Co-directors Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh said: “It’s been anything but a piece of cake for local artist Reuben Paterson as there’s been a lot of hard work in creating this piece of art. Together the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Reuben are celebrating an important milestone as we mark 50 years.”

The party: All you need to know

  • The party runs from 3pm to 9pm on Queen Street on 29 Feb.
  • There’s live music from Dictaphone Blues, Hans Pucket, Serious Happiness, O Juliet & Charlotte Johansen.
  • There’ll be food trucks as well as a bar.
  • Party-goers can participate in an interactive art work The Cell by Brook Andrew and take part in workshops.
  • The party will see the world premiere for Len Lye’s Sky Snakes kinetic sculpture. 
Reuben Paterson Studio

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