- On loan to the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū from the artist
- Acrylic on canvas
- 999 x 1199mm
In 1989 Bill and several other New Zealand artists travelled to the remote sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands, a trip that was to have a profound effect on his art. Here, he encountered what he called “paradise for birds”, a place he imagined Aotearoa was like before humans arrived. In his words: [In the Auckland Islands] I saw a New Zealand before there were men and women and dogs and possums. You could see what New Zealand was like, a land of birds. In the Auckland Islands you can stand by 20,000 birds and they don’t take fright, they think they are hallucinating … you can pass by hundreds of yellow-eyed penguins staring out at the horizon in a Zen-like trance. We’d become freakish apparitions. …You feel like a time traveller … as if you have just stumbled upon it – primeval forests, rātās like Walt Disney would make. It’s a beautiful place, but it’s also full of ghosts, shipwrecks, death.
Bill Hammond: Playing the Drums (3 August 2019 – 19 January 2020)