‘We’ve been collecting art since 1979. We have quite a large collection! Art absolutely feeds my soul. It makes me feel like a real person. After a year of living with no art I didn’t realise what was wrong until we got it back. We thought “That’s what the problem was!” We just missed it so much.
Art makes me feel complete, connected, it’s just everywhere for me.’
The wild and rugged mountainous landscape of Otira has captivated visitors since the first road was cut through the gorge in the mid-1860s. Otira is the Māori place name for this region and translates as ‘the last rays of the sun’. It was a landscape that Gibb was drawn to, and he returned to paint it repeatedly throughout his career. An unforgiving place with high rainfall, rivers can rise suddenly and fill the gorge with the thundering noise of falling water. Gibb has painted the aftermath of one such storm in this work. The original Otira Hotel depicted in this painting was washed away when the Otira River flooded in 1886.
(John Gibb, 18 December 2015 – 28 August 2016)