Artists in New Zealand
Many galleries around the country hold exhibitions that feature the works of nationally acclaimed artists in New Zealand, as well as sculptors, jewellers and fresh new talent. Various New Zealand artists draw their inspiration from the stunning landscape. They utilise its resources, but are ever-conscious of protecting the environment. New Zealand has a wealth of natural resources available for use by artists in New Zealand for creating stunning and unique works - including Kauri wood and gum, greenstone (pounamu), bone and paua (abalone).
Historical artworks by New Zealand artists are predominantly held in the collections of the larger museums and public libraries in the cities. There are more than 460 museums, many doubling as art galleries, ranging from specialist regional collections to the impressive national museum Te Papa in the capital, Wellington.
Just to name a few...
New Zealand artist, Frances Hodgkins, was born in Dunedin in 1869. She left New Zealand in 1913 and led an eccentric, itinerant life in England and France, painting prolifically and consistently until her death in England in 1947. No other New Zealand artist exploited the tenets of modernism so successfully and the influence of her work and life has been profound. Paintings such as The Bridesmaids, which is part of the Auckland City Gallery's collection, and Double Portrait, found in Dunedin's Hocken Library, attract enormous attention.
Internationally recognised Maori artist George Nuku is a carver and sculptor as well as a rangatira chief. His works vary from delicate jade and pearl amulets to the entire side of a two-storey building. George's art has also been featured on the covers of many magazines, including Vogue, as well as in films. Some of his work was showcased in the National Geographic All Roads Film Festival - a multi-media indigenous peoples and minority culture event incorporating film, live music and art held in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. in October 2004.
Christchurch-based sculptor Neil Dawson has won an international reputation with his atmospheric outdoor works. Dawson's beautiful metal globes have decorated air space in Canberra, Paris and Kuala Lumpur, and his work 'Ferns' is currently hovering above Civic Square in Wellington.
New Zealand artist, Michael Tuffery, notorious for making a life-size bull out of flattened corned beef tins, recently completed an artist's residency at Artspace Mackay in Queensland, Australia. His famous corned-beef bull can be seen at Te Papa Museum in Wellington.
Niuean John Pule is a poet and writer as well as a painter. His work has a strong narrative flavour, stemming from the use of figures and bird or fish-like monsters from Niuean mythology. He lives in Auckland and incorporates elements of traditional Oceanic art with contemporary Western influences.