Rita Angus – Cass
A few years ago, I walked the old Ngāi Tahu trails through Kā Tiritiri-o-te-moana The Southern Alps. I was hunting for traces of our pre-European history in the mountains. I encountered a lot of Pākehā mountain history as well. In the upper Waimakariri Basin, on my way to Tarahaka Arthur’s Pass, I wandered into New Zealand’s greatest painting – as seen on TV.
Marti Friedlander – Margaret Mahy
Marti Friedlander is my favourite Aotearoa photographer. I don’t remember the first time I saw one of her photographs, but they always feel familiar and give me a sense of warm nostalgia. Her work captures a time in New Zealand I miss – primary school cheekiness, shopping on a Saturday morning, travelling to family farms in Timaru and North Canterbury. A simpler life.
Jason Greig's Vulcan Paradise
I’ve had a quiet fascination with Jason Greig’s work ever since I was a Year 13 student hanging about Burnside High’s art block (which, granted, wasn’t that long ago). My then printmaking teacher, Nichola Shanley, is a good friend of Jason’s and managed to get him along to one of our classes.
Cerith Wyn Evans's Things are conspicuous in their absence...
I have never seen an artwork reflect something so true. “Things are conspicuous in their absence” is such an uncommonly heard reflection that it is eye-catching. When things are around us, they seem normal and often go unnoticed; the moment they are gone it can be startling and we wake up.
Peter Stichbury's NDE
Anna Worthington chooses her favourite work from the Gallery collection.
Julian Dashper's Untitled 1996
Sound artist Paul Sutherland chooses his favourite work from the Gallery’s collection.
Pauline Rhodes – Land Extensums, Banks Peninsula
I only have to set a direction towards Horomaka Banks Peninsula, and I feel an energy, a charge. The ritual of a takeaway coffee at Wairewa Little River. A flicker of shadows from the centenary lime trees lining the road at Cooptown. Picking up speed to begin the swinging ascent to the Crater Rim. A rush of air, sweeping up over the summit and along the wide expanse of the Peninsula, hilltops encircling a traveller like comforting arms.
Jacqueline Fahey's Mother and daughter quarrelling
I first encountered Jacqueline Fahey’s Mother and daughter quarrelling (1977)—in reproduced form—in Art History class during my final year at Shirley Boys’ High. We’d just entered the new millennium and at some point amid that final year our entire form group lost access to our senior common room for a week because a couple of boys had sellotaped a selection of pages from some off-brand Penthouse onto the roll-up projector screen that hung from the ceiling. That’s just to give you an idea of the prevalent gender politics of the time and place.
Margaret Hudson-Ware's Let me see the paralysed man walk
Of the many pieces I love to visit at the Gallery, Let me see the paralysed man walk by Margaret Hudson-Ware is particularly special to me. “Ms. Hudson-Ware” was my art teacher from age 14 to 17 at Cashmere High School. She was a very stylish, bird-like woman – a kind of Coco Chanel in a pant suit. In the eighties, she managed to look utterly timeless; she sculpted her cheeks with burnt umber blush, a colour I could only imagine she’d mixed herself. The whole palette of her clothes and make up was very much what you see in the colours of this work.
Juliet Peter's Harvesting, Rydal Downs
I grew up in a house in Glandovey Road, Fendalton—twenty-two bedrooms! Back then, my options were to be a nurse or a school teacher, but all my life, I’d wanted to be a farmer. My father encouraged that practical side of me. He was a keen fly fisherman and called me “sonny”. I had my hair cut at the barbers; I wore long pants in winter—I thought I was a boy.