Eden Hore
Eden Hore’s couture gowns being photographed in the Central Otago landscape. Photo supplied

There is an unusual photographic exhibition currently showing at Central Stories Gallery, and plans are now in place for it to move to Cromwell in March.

A Naseby farmer may seem like an unlikely person to have had a breathtaking collection of over 200 couture gowns, but the late Eden Hore did so, and his collection is highly respected and treasured.

Before his death, Eden kept the collection at his home and was happy to welcome anyone who showed an interest in viewing them.

Since his death, the collection has been curated and preserved, and 25 of Eden’s couture garments are currently being exhibited at one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary art galleries – the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt.

In late 2019, a group of internationally acclaimed fashion industry professionals led by photographer Derek Henderson, created a series of photographs of Eden Hore’s high fashion garments in stunning Central Otago landscapes.

The photographs are testimony to the collaborative efforts of many helpers, fashion curators and textile conservation specialists, all drawn by the mystique of the Eden Hore Central Otago collection.

The project was developed in partnership with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongawera and Central Otago District Council to bring alive Eden’s exceptional collection and to demonstrate its relevance to contemporary fashion and design, within its Central Otago “home”.

The photographs, which have been produced as a limited-edition series, are “on tour” around the Central Otago district during summer and autumn.

The exhibition has already been met with great interest and enthusiasm in Naseby and Alexandra and will be based in Cromwell during March.

“We are delighted to be able to share the EHCO photography exhibition with Central Otago locals and visitors alike over the summer,” Central Otago District Council Community and Engagement Manager Paula Penno said.

“The exhibition is helping us discover old tales and connections from people with personal recollections of this high-county farmer and his exquisite fashion collection.

It’s also helping us introduce Eden to people who are unfamiliar with this unique story.”

The photographs will also be featured alongside the Dowse Art Museum’s exhibition.

“We are thrilled to be able to display these images at McNulty House in the Cromwell Heritage Precinct and are very grateful to the team from Old Cromwell Inc for enabling this.”

Helen Scholes, Chairperson of Old Cromwell Inc, says, “We are excited at the opportunity to bring this photographic exhibition to McNulty House.

 It is such an appropriate venue for the gowns.” The exhibition at McNulty house will run from 11 to 21 March, from 10am to 2pm daily, after which it moves on to Wedderburn and then Ophir.