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Quiet Observations

Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art & History, Masterton

 April 20th - June 16th 2024

3. Q O  Whatataki Coastline, Wairarapa.jpeg

I'mWWhatataki Coastline, North of Castlepoint, Wairarapa a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

For me, one of the biggest challenges of this exhibition was coming up with a name. Seems crazy doesn’t it, but analyzing and putting into words, what you do on a subconscious level can be a difficult thing for many visual creators, as we just do what we do. I didn’t start with a name or a theme, I just wanted to paint landscapes. 

I knew I would borrow some from collectors, and produce some new work, so as I selected images, I curated a body of work that would be cohesive but show the diversity of the NZ landscape. I then asked myself what do these works have in common?  

I have always had a love for the natural world. My grandmother, the artist Myrtle McDonald and my grandfather Mac a keen photographer, came from Southland and Otago, and shared with us from an early age, their passion for the landscape and the flora & fauna of this beautiful country we live in. I suppose without thinking about it, they taught us how to see, to observe and to appreciate the world around us. 

 

Observation is a core principle of being an artist, and how we choose to express this observation determines the style of work we produce, for example realism or abstraction or expresssionism. I have always favoured realism and having trained as an architect, I am naturally drawn to detail and form. 

 

I’m also very interested in the geomorphology of our landscape, the weathering and erosion that alters the geology of our long narrow mountainous islands in the South Pacific spanning 35 to 47 degrees south in latitude, 1600kms long and 400kms at its widest point. 

You combine this with the weather patterns, particularly the westerly winds known as the Roaring 40s which cause gales over the South Island and the lower North Island, and we predominantly get heavy rain on the west coast with the Southern Alps and North Island Ranges blocking the rain to the east, making the land much drier.

This dynamic weather creates amazing cloudscapes, and this affects how the light falls on the land and water. 

 

And it’s this light that captures my imagination and feeds my soul. I am constantly observing how light changes through the day and the seasons, and sometimes when I’m out walking, I’m stopped in my tracks and can be moved to tears. 

 

This emotional response to the environment is what I want to convey in my paintings, this quiet moment in time when you feel one with this place, this sense of stillness and peace. This is also reflected in my painting process which has become an act of mindfulness - quiet brushstrokes and subtle mixes of tones and colours, where hours go by unnoticed.  

The Post article 2024
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