Séraphine Pick

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1964


  • 1991
  • Mixed media
  • Purchased, 1991
  • Reproduced with permission
  • 1310 x 720mm
  • 91/24.1-2

This early work by Séraphine Pick challenges many of the accepted traditions of art-making, including the hierarchy of subject matter and the nature of art materials. The Gothic arch or iron shape is edged with red velvet that has been pierced with dressmaking pins, and the images have been created using the broken lines of the woodblock, usually reserved for artist’s prints. Pick deliberately aligns the work's domestic elements with aspects of early religious art. The modern ‘homemaker’, represented in this work by self portraits of the artist, is compared to the medieval image of the Virgin Mary as mediator and nurturer. We are invited to use our observations and understanding of family life to draw our own conclusions.

Séraphine Pick was born in Kawakawa in the Bay of Islands in 1964 and graduated from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1988. Best known as a painter, she has exhibited regularly throughout New Zealand since 1987 and has received some of New Zealand's most significant art awards, including the Olivia Spencer Bower Award (1994), the Rita Angus Residency (1995) and the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship (1999).

Exhibition History