Auckland Scoop

Window gazing out west

Press Release – Lopdell House Art Gallery

Purfex factory is the go to place for high quality mannequins and this year marks the closure of their Avondale factory and relocation after 75 years in the business. Over the years they’ve helped to launch many careers due to their fine craftsmanship; high profile contemporary artists, fashionistas, and fashion students. In recognition of this contribution Lopdell House Gallery and New Lynn shopping district are hosting an exhibition, Art Trail and a charity auction from March 9 – April 6th.

Over the four weeks, 10 New Lynn shop window displays will be taken over by 11 Purfex mannequins dressed by friends of Purfex: artists Ioane Ioane, Tracy Tawhiao, Niki Hastings-McFall, Jo Torr, Diane Rimmer, Hoteera Riri (tutor – A Cut Above Academy), fashion house Strangely Normal, Doris de Pont of the New Zealand Fashion Museum in collaboration with Stefan Sinclair of Two Hands Tattoo and fashion departments from both NZ Fashion Tech and Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design.

On April 6, the last day of the Art Trail, a charity auction is to be held at the old BNZ building, 14 Todd Avenue, New Lynn, which looks to sell each of the ten mannequin creations, helping to raise funds for Purfex’s charity of choice; Mercy Hospice. This building will also house eight windows dressed by the Purfex Team to depict changes to New Lynn as well as fashion changes through the decades 1930s-2000s.

Lopdell House Gallery, who are temporarily working out of New Lynn due to the iconic Lopdell House undergoing earthquake strengthening and renovation, will also be hosting an exhibition Mannequin, by Titirangi based photographer Katharina Kercher. The exhibition aims to bring a stripped down version of the factory into the gallery while explaining the mannequin making process alongside exploring the interface between art and commercialism. During this time there will be a resident mannequin painter working live inside the gallery.

The creation of a mannequin is much like the creation of any fine sculpture, yet the mannequin has never been intended as art for its own sake; fashion houses and department stores require a work of art that remains invisible yet compliments the product. Museums require a form that will support and preserve their collection, such as the Jo Torr gown, and some contemporary artists like Ioane Ioane require that a mannequin play a role in the art. Purfex, able to supply all these demands, has also supported various school window display competitions and fashion awards.

In conjunction with the exhibition Mannequin, Lopdell House Gallery are holding a Newspaper Dress Competition for all West Auckland intermediate and primary school pupils in collaboration with the Western Leader and LynnMall. The challenge is to create an entire outfit made only from newspaper with the help of stitching, staples and tape. Four finalists from both intermediate and primary school categories will have their garments displayed at LynnMall from March 18 to April 9. The public can vote for their favourite garment and voting closes 5pm April 5 with the winners announced at the charity auction April 6. Entries and garments must be delivered to Lopdell House Gallery, 5 Totara Avenue, New Lynn by 5pm March 15. Entry forms are available at or at the information desk at LynnMall shopping centre.

Kicking off the programme is a FREE family open day on March 9 between 10am-2pm. Held at The Todd Triangle opposite Lopdell House Gallery the open day will include a range of activities, including free face painting, body painting, craft workshops and a get fit routine by Les Mills.

FREE Family Open Day: March 9. 10am-2pm. The Todd Triangle opposite Lopdell House
New Lynn Shop Window Exhibition: Sat March 9 – Friday April 5
Photographic Exhibition and Live Mannequin Painting: Sat March 9 – Tues April 9. Lopdell House Gallery
Western Leader and LynnMall Kids competition and exhibition: LynnMall, at the Atrium, between Shanton and Dollar King (by Memorial Drive Entrance). March 18 to April 9
Public Charity Auction: Saturday April 6. 6pm, the old BNZ building, 14 Todd Avenue, New Lynn


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