Grant Lingard

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1961, d.1995


  • 1986
  • Charcoal on paper
  • Purchased 2009
  • 589 x 418mm
  • 2009/020

Growing up gay and artistic in Blackball – a small West Coast coalmining community that valued sport over creativity – Grant Lingard identified as an outsider from childhood. Many of his works explore the idea of appearance, and how things can be so much more than what they seem. As seen here, he also repeatedly interrogated his own image, perhaps attempting to nail down a character he was still struggling to find room to express. The skull that accompanies these early self-portraits is not only a reminder of the inevitability of death in the tradition of the memento mori, but hints at another recurring element in Grant’s work, the dark edge his artist friend Richard Reddaway described as “feral”.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History