Posts Tagged ‘Gopas’

More on artists/writers residences (and residencies). I just read on Beatties Book Blog that the University of Waikato have bought late writer Michael King’s house at Whangamata on the Coromandel Peninsula, for its staff and students as a retreat to research and write. “Bookman Beattie is certain Michael would have been delighted with this decision. And of course this brings to two the number of university involvements with the late Michael King, with the University of Auckland having earlier become involved with the Michael King Writers’ Centre

This is great stuff but I do wonder about all the fellowships and residencies and how available they really are. My concern is for women who tend to still be the main child carers. Lots of female writers fit their work in around domestic duties and although maybe be eligible or even offered such an opportunity, it could mean uprooting a family, the husband/partner finding a new job in a new town, kids at new schools and all the associated ‘stuff’. “But men have the same issues” you cry. Well ok but then, maybe they ‘go on ahead’ and the family joins later OR in some cases, thefamily stays behind. I have a bias of course but I do wonder about how many women have missed these opportunities because of ‘the pram in the hallway’. Maybe other women are more organised than me :-). Is this why women artists are under-represented or is it something more sinister?

King was associated with the visual arts in several ways too. The catalogue for the John Money Collection “Splendours of Civilisation” (Eastern Southland Art Gallery, Gore) and Moko with Marti Friedlander are two books that come to mind (without thinking very hard).

I dashed madly through the Money collection at the ESAG a couple of years back. It was disjointed (to me) but impressive. It is odd to find such notable art in an ‘out of the way’ place like Gore. “Nic-named the ‘Goreggenheim’ by Saatchi & Saatchi boss Kevin Roberts, this regional public art museum features permanent exhibitions of national and international note” The Ralph Hotere collection there is meant to be one of the best in the country.

Hotere, Walter Logeman

Speaking of art in Southland I wonder if the reason Gopas’ Trawlers, felt so familiar to me is that a 1955 watercolour of his, also named “Trawlers”, is held at the Anderson Park Art Gallery in Invercargill. Maybe its was similar to the 1959 oil?

There has been a lot in the news here lately about ‘affordable housing’ and people not being able to get into first homes. Well I have a good idea. I am happy to never own my own home (well not quite) if they bring in this scheme. “The French government is proposing interest-free loans (up to $10,000) to less wealthy people toward the purchase of art. The idea is designed to entice private individuals who might otherwise think they’re not rich enough to start buying art…Apparently similar programs have been introduced in Britain and The Netherlands”. Hmmm – where should I start???? Perhaps a McCahon before the Americans snap them all up :-)

Anyway off junk shopping tomorrow, always in hope that I’ll find a Frank Carpay vase in the 50c bin or a lost Goldie amongst the broken picture frames

Crown Lynn vase by F Carpay

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Rudi and Rita

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.

The Trawlers
The Trawlers (1959) Rudi Gopas

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.

Island bay boats
Boats, Island Bay (1961-62) Rita Angus

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
Philip Trusttum
Nigel Brown
Peter Carson

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This takes the cake

A friend sent this in today (hat tip Helen)

Art  – where has the fun gone


Artist Inez Crawford’s Bouncy Marae piece, a bouncy-castle style wharenui (meeting house), part of the Land Wars show at the Te Tuhi Galleryin Pakuranga. 3 March 2008. Someone obviously thinks I have a thing for inflatable art.

Something I’ve been wondering about lately is that most galleries advertise that you can hire them out as a ‘venue’. Even Te Papa – “the galleries on Levels 5 and 6 offer unique opportunities to hold private functions surrounded by treasured artworks and artefacts.” and this from Auckland “The Auckland Art Gallery is much more than just another venue. Hold your next function here and join your guests in experiencing some of New Zealand’s finest traditional and contemporary art. Like the works of art we display – your event will truly be a masterpiece.” So I could get married in front of a McCahon? Have a cocktail party in the gallery? So ummm, what happens if someone spills the bubbly? I just find it scary.

I am taking questions from the floor by the way. For those who asked..

– Yes, I do know Ricky Swallow is Australian but the Blanket Shark work was in a sale here and he is from ‘the ‘hood’.
– No, I can’t sneak in more kitsch – even in a design entry.
– No
– No
– 42

and so in lieu of Vogon poetry

Cyclic Events  (1971) – Rudi Gopas

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