John Gully

Aotearoa New Zealand / British, b.1819, d.1888


One of Aotearoa New Zealand’s first resident professional artists, John Gully revelled in the majestic. Romantic sublime landscapes were his forte, and from his home in Nelson he was able to explore the wild mountainous landscapes of upper Te Waipounamu / the South Island. The Kaikōura coastline captivated the artist and he painted several watercolours of the region. Gully dished out the sublime in spades in Kaikoura. The wreck of a coastal trader is beaten by stormy waves against the shore while the impressive Seaward Kaikōura range dominates the skyline along the coast. The small cottage is Fyfe House, the original home of Robert Fyfe who established a whaling station at Kaikōura in 1842. From this shoreline, once a southern right whale or tohorā had been spotted, whalers would row out to the open sea in the hope of harpooning it.

(Pickaxes and shovels, 17 February – 5 August 2018)

Exhibition History