Making connections . . . Dame Patsy Reddy and her husband, Sir David Gascoigne (left), listen as Eastern Southland Art Gallery curator Jim Geddes talks about Long Hee Lee, the biggest work in artist Sue Cooke’s A Songless Land exhibition at the gallery last week. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy has ticked a must-do item off her list.

Last week, Dame Patsy and her husband, Sir David Gascoigne, visited the Eastern Southland Art Gallery in Gore.

Dame Patsy said she first heard about the gallery when the late John Money gave his collection of art work to it.

“It had been one of those places I had always wanted to come to,” Dame Patsy said.

In 2003, the John Money wing displaying the works was opened at the gallery.

The couple were taken on a tour of the galley by curator Jim Geddes and thought the collection was “astounding”.

“It’s definitely a must-see.”

She enjoyed visiting smaller galleries because often there were interesting stories connected to the collections there.

“The story as told by Jim [Geddes] is just magical.”

The couple enjoyed viewing art but did not own many items.

“We have a small collection but we’re great lovers of art.”

She was hard-pressed to say which of the works was her favourite.

She was impressed with Sue Cooke’s “A Songless Land” exhibition, especially the largest work Long Hee Lee

“The size of this installation is just overwhelming and I particularly love that.”

Rita Angus was one of her favourite New Zealand artists and she enjoyed seeing her paintings.

“I’ve never seen those works—they’re really special.”

One topic of discussion she sometimes had with her husband was which piece of artwork would you take if the building was on fire.

“It would be pretty hard here — as much as you could get.”