This article first appeared as 'Painting offers a multiverse of symbols' in The Press on 21 June 2017.
Driving Without a Licence
Peter Robinson: I may be wrong about this, but I believe that we were the last generation to experience the primacy of painting at art school. What I mean by this is that when we were at Ilam, students had to compete to get into departments. As crazy as it sounds now, there was a very clear hierarchy: painting was the most popular discipline and afforded the most esteem, sculpture second, then film, print, design and photography somewhere down the line. Can you remember why you ended up choosing sculpture? And furthermore why you ended up being a painter? Do you think your training as a sculptor affected the way you think about or approach painting that is different to someone who was trained formally as a painter?
I joined the Foundation in 2014, not because I’m an art aficionado or collector, but because it was a chance to contribute to our city’s regeneration. As a Foundation, we didn’t want to follow the traditional way of doing things. Instead, we concentrated on using our diverse networks to build relationships based on loyalty and art. We asked people to engage and believe. As a result, we’ve preserved art in the hearts and minds of long-standing Christchurch residents as well as a new generation of Cantabrians. I’m incredibly proud to be part of that.
The Gallery has an incredible team of forty Volunteer Guides – and we want more! We’re currently seeking expressions of interest for ten enthusiastic individuals to join us.
In early March we were lucky enough to have the incredibly talented Grayson Gilmour performing at the Gallery, supported by the equally talented Purple Pilgrims and New Dawn. I love these gigs, but there is a lot of work to be done behind the scenes to make sure that, by the time the public walk in the door, the foyer is gig ready. The process normally feels like a long, slow marathon with a sprint at the final corner. So here’s a guide to how you too can get the NZI Foyer gig-ready in five (or six) easy steps.
US V THEM: Tony de Lautour
Welcome to the low brow, high art world of Tony de Lautour’s paintings, sculptures and ceramics.
On 12 January 1866 an attempt was made to overwhelm the Hau Hau stronghold at Otapawa Pā in South Taranaki, 8 kilometres south of Hawera. This watercolour depicts that engagement, which had heavy fire from both sides until the Pā was taken and the Māori fled. Von Tempsky was a skilled amateur artist and the scene shows the wounded Rangers and Māori warriors being tended in the foreground, whilst fighting continues in the distance and officers discuss their strategy. Von Tempsky was born in Braunsburg, East Prussia, into a military family and, following family tradition, was educated in a Prussian military academy in Berlin. Von Tempsky lived in Central America, California, Britain and Australia before coming to New Zealand in 1862. As an experienced guerrilla fighter, he was quickly commissioned to the New Zealand Forest Rangers. He had a reputation amongst both the Māori and Pākeha as a dashing and fearless fighter. He died in battle at Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu.