Picturing the Peninsula

21 April – 5 August 2007

A selection of works by some of New Zealand’s most significant historical and contemporary artists responding to the unique landscapes of Banks Peninsula Te Pataka o Rakaihautu.

The natural beauty and history of Banks Peninsula has captivated some of New Zealand’s most significant historical and contemporary artists. This group show, drawn largely from the Gallery’s Collection, is a visual journey around the Peninsula which was formed from two ancient volcanoes, the craters of which we now know as Akaroa and Lyttelton Harbours.

Curated by Peter Vangioni, Picturing the Peninsula displays both historical and contemporary paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and watercolours to tell the story of the Peninsula through such artists as Colin McCahon, Bill Sutton, William Watkins, Laurence Aberhart, Margaret Stoddart, Charles Meryon, William Watkins, Tony Fomison, Doris Lusk, Jeffrey Harris and Nicholas Chevalier.

Banks Peninsula has an extremely rich history in terms of geology, as well as its Māori and colonial history, says Peter Vangioni. 'The region has changed dramatically during the last 160 years, from a once densely forested landscape to largely pastoral, as seen through these works.'

Christchurch Art Gallery Director Jenny Harper says Picturing the Peninsula responds directly to the area and is timed to celebrate the anniversary of Banks Peninsula becoming part of Christchurch City Council. 'Banks Peninsula Te Pataka o Te Rakaihautu (the food store house of the paramount chief Rakaihauta) has always been easily accessible to Christchurch residents by land or sea and as Picturing the Peninsula highlights, many Canterbury artists have taken full advantage of the opportunity of living, travelling and working in the area.'

Exhibition number 771