Gordon Crook

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1921, d.2011


  • c. 1982
  • Tapestry
  • Purchased 1982
  • 1320 x 1640mm
  • 82/64

In this tapestry Gordon Cook has drawn on New Zealand’s Pacific environment, making an abstract design of kites, birds, sea and sky. The apparent randomness of the design and use of colour creates a sense of energy and movement. Although a contemporary work, Oceania has been made using traditional tapestry techniques. The design and the cartoon (or pattern) were made by Crook but the work was woven by Lesley Nicholls, a tapestry weaver from the Artweave workshop in Wellington. Crook was born in England. Following time in the Merchant Navy and the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, he was given a grant to study art at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London, where he obtained a degree in textile design. He lectured at the Central School but in 1972 came to New Zealand, settling in Wellington. Crook is well known for his large-scale public commissions, including large banners for the New Zealand Chancery in Washington and for Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre.