Drawing its inspiration from the sea, this exhibition highlights the Gallery's collection of maritime paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and ceramics, alongside scrimshaw from Canterbury Museum's collection.
Views from the safe confines of the harbour are displayed alongside vivid images of ships braving wild storms and disasters on the high seas. Several artists explore the idea of being lost at sea, through literary classics Moby Dick and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Historical favourites by the likes of John Gibb and Petrus van der Velden hang alongside more modern artists such as Tony Fomison, Olivia Spencer Bower and Max Gimblett but all draw their inspiration from the sea.
A small but poetic exhibition looking at early European and Māori representations of seafaring vessels, with the Charlotte Jane as a focal point.
Reading the Swell
The art of the sea has always been the art of vastness—without edges and with potential for infinite extension. It is this immensity that has invaded the Reading the Swell exhibition; finding its way through the automatic doors when no one is looking and quietly expanding the walls. Like sailors, artists have laid soundings in this uncharted vastness. Reading the Swell is a small and pointed selection of those soundings that see fit to make sense of the sea.
This article first appeared as 'Artist left all at sea by changing tides' in The Press on 6 December 2016
Although one of the smallest oil paintings in the permanent collection William Wyllie's The Sloping Deck is a powerful and terrifying image of a ship being wrecked on rocks.
This article first appeared as 'Lost painting found' in The Press on 2 November 2012.
Last year the Gallery acquired this magnificent early work by Petrus van der Velden: