Rudolf Boelee has an incredibly strong affinity with van der Velden, describing him on one occasion as ‘an older brother by 100 years growing up in the same locality’. Both artists were born in Rotterdam, and in Treasure of the nation Boelee expresses his admiration for the older artist: a screenprint of van der Velden’s portrait is flanked either side by two prints of his Otira Gorge paintings. Boelee overlays van der Velden’s Otira landscapes with a series of colourful modernist rectangles – geometric divisions that provide a striking contrast.
An Homage to the painter Petrus van der Velden. " Inspiration for this work came from a Dutch television piece on Petrus van der Velden by the writer and presenter Boudewijn Buch. The Robert McDougall Art Gallery segment of the programme featured an interview with Neil Roberts and Harry Ipenberg (Custodian). In that segment Harry had to explain why a work like 'Funeral at Marken' was hidden behind a false wall! (This was to accommodate the Lois White exhibition). This situation also gave me the idea to make a work to be shown in a permanent packing crate, doubling as a frame. Boudewijn Buch also questioned van der Velden's grand master position in New Zealand art history and why if so he was only to be found in the basements of major art galleries during his (Buch's) visit here. During 1999 and 2000, I looked intensely at my Dutch background, the Second World War and for this work, sharing the same birthplace as van der Velden and the looting of artwork were all in there somewhere for 'Treasure if the Nation'."