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On a visit to my New Zealand cousin living in the UK I was struck by her husband’s art works. David Armitage was born in Australia, (his painting is of the Aborigine’s Dreaming). He lived for some time in New Zealand and now works in East Sussex in the UK.

On a trip to New Zealand in 2004 we were struck by Alan Wehipeihana’s Whenua I and II on exhibition. Alan had this to say about Whenua:

They sat on my wall for a while as paintings, then one brave day, much to the horror of my friends I attacked them with power tools. I thought the result was quite exciting.

Whenua means the land so it seemed an appropriate title for my landscapes. It can also mean ‘after birth’ and in Maoridom, the earth is the mother from which all earthly things are born, the sky is the father. So afterbirth symbolises our connection to the land.

We were inspired to explore the landscape with new eyes and it took us back into the art galleries and museums. On our return we realized that we had a small collection of New Zealand art – enough to arrange an exhibition in our Maastricht gallery.

Take a look at Jo Ogier’s Riflemen on Mistletoe. Andrea Mae Miller works with print work, and I can’t help a guffaw at the scary cat facing off the scary fish.

John Drawbridge was one of New Zealand’s major artists of last century and Austin Davies, White Men, perfectly represents the allure of the theatre. Kahu Scott on the other hand represents the generation of today and his inheritance of Maoridom.


Read the biographies of the various artists here