As a small boy growing up in Christchurch, Len Lye kicked a kerosene can around the backyard on a sunny day. The flash of light and clap of thunder that came from the empty can would provide inspiration for the rest of his life’s work. This revelatory moment—when surprise gave way to discovery—shaped an artistic career that took him to Samoa, London, New York and Mallorca. Bursting with irrepressible energy, Len Lye’s sculptures bang, crash, bounce, sway, rotate and swing. 

The exhibition shows major sculptural works alongside Lye’s films, drawings and paintings. Blade performs at 12.30pm each weekday, with an additional performance at 7.25pm on Wednesday evenings. It performs at 12.30 and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday. Len Lye’s sculptures perform regularly during the day. You can download the current schedule here.

Join one of our friendly guides for a free feature tour, running daily at 2pm from 12 August - 25 November. Meet at the front desk, there's no need to book.

With the support of the Len Lye Foundation, New Plymouth.

Image Credits: Len Lye Grass 1961–5. Len Lye Foundation Collection, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Len Lye Centre
Len Lye Fountain III 1976. Stainless steel rods, motor. Collection Govett-Brewster Art Gallery