It is so hard to choose my top artworks in Christchurch, although The Physician by Gerrit Dou is a little gem. It’s an intriguing painting full of symbolism – there is always a new story to discover as you look at it. I’ve been on the board since 2008 but have always been an avid supporter of the arts. My love affair for art probably first started as a toddler creating sand castles at Brighton Beach, making images appear with magic water painting or sticking autumn leaves on to paper to make collages!
This article first appeared as 'Painting offers a multiverse of symbols' in The Press on 21 June 2017.
Yellow Moon: He Marama Kōwhai
Yellow is a colour with impact – it’s time to encounter its brilliance.
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.
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.