Creative visual thinking is fundamental to us all as human beings as we strive to understand our sense of self and the world. Chartwell seeks to deepen understanding about the importance of art and creative thinking for our future and our wellbeing.
Chartwell is an explorer of the visual world. We want to know more about how and what we see. When both the eye and the mind are active, the creative process opens to the artist and viewer. The Chartwell Collection provides the viewer many examples of creative visual thought in action.
Chartwell supports artists as they make and think. Making is an active and connected process, involving the interaction of intention, intuition and intellect with the mediums of the world. Chartwell is making too - making a difference through philanthropy and enabling access to creative activities and research.
Chartwell encourages everyone to think about art and the creative process with a commitment to drive an understanding about the significance of the visual arts to general creative thinking. We share a curiosity to know and learn more: an imaginative, ongoing investigation.
In September 2015, Jenny Harper, then Director of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū (2006 to 2018), was preparing to reopen the gallery after the long period of closure following the cities devastating earthquakes. In the Christchurch Art Gallery's Bulletin Magazine (Issue B.181) she reflected on the role of collections, city funders and their importance to the life and identity of a city.
In her foreword, she said: “Collecting is a continuous process. You can’t turn it on and off like a light bulb. It’s proactive and it takes knowledge, commitment to developing relationships with artists, their dealers and auction houses, as well as the experience and judgement we develop on the job.”
She went on to introduce the Chartwell Collection as an example of private charitable support for the public gallery and its collections, saying:“Auckland collector, Rob Gardiner, one of New Zealand’s few really committed art philanthropists, who has enriched Auckland Art Gallery’s collection immensely with the extended loan of the Chartwell Collection, sometimes describes art as a ‘gymnasium for the mind’. And, just like getting fit, sometimes it takes time and energy to engage with art.”
Sue Gardiner was invited to write a history of the Chartwell Collection.