I’ve just finished reading Chris Roynane’s biography of Rudi Gopas. It was a good book in that it was ‘enlightening’ but oddly written. Gopas was a painting tutor/lecturer at Ilam for years and so influenced many key NZ artists and creative people – I didn’t really realise just how many. It was kind of a sad story too in some ways – an outsider story. Maybe I am reading it wrong but did he identify with and encourage other ‘outsiders’ – e.g. Fomison and Clairmont? And of course there were the themes of art and madness and the usual association with alcohol and drugs. I am in the midst of writing a whole essay on that topic though.
The book mentioned his constant return to his memories of the Baltic sea of his youth shown in his paintings of fishing boats.
This picture reminds me of fishing boats at Riverton when I was a child, a typical New Zealand scene but obviously it has European echoes as well. I guess its just the era/style but there seems to be parallels with Angus’ Island Bay boats too and that painting has a similar effect on me.
Speaking of Angus, Jill Trevelyans’ book “Rita Angus an Artist’s LIfe” seems to be available now. It looks like it will be a good one (I’m hoping my library will get a copy). Trevelyan is also co-curator of the “Rita Angus: Life & Vision” exhibition that will be at Te Papa 5 July – 5 October 2008. With nearly 200 works it will be a pretty major outing. I am starting to sound like an advert, but really I am just excited to see some of these works ‘in the flesh’. My interest was also pricked by a story I heard recently about a whole lot of Angus’ works in disarray in the vaults of the old National Gallery in Buckle Street in the mid-1970’s.
And in other news – More artists who have worked as posties