Maughan blooms back in home­land

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

Few things scream ‘‘spring’’ like flo­rals and gar­dens, and Pataka’s lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion is a cel­e­bra­tion of both.

A Clear Day, which opened on Sun­day, is Wellington artist Karl Maughan’s first ma­jor solo ex­hi­bi­tion in a pub­lic gallery since he re­turned to live in Wellington almost 10 years ago.

The in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned artist said the paint­ings all de­picted New Zealand gar­dens, but also had touches of places he had vis­ited.

‘‘I’ve been paint­ing gar­dens so long now it’s hard to know why,’’ he said.

‘‘I just find some­thing new and in­ter­est­ing ev­ery time, so keep do­ing it.’’

This ex­hi­bi­tion of his paint­ings – dat­ing from his early stu­dent days in 1987 up to the present – have been gath­ered from pri­vate and pub­lic col­lec­tions in Palmer­ston North and Wellington.

‘‘It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing see­ing it all to­gether be­cause I never get to see it like this.’’

Con­tem­po­rary art cu­ra­tor Mark Hutchins-Pond said the hy­per­re­al­is­tic paint­ings of gar­dens in full flower would be the per­fect cure for win­ter blues.

‘‘It’s up­lift­ing and it’s joy­ful. It’s got all the feel-good feel­ings,’’ he said.

Hutchins-Pond said it was the first time Pataka had held a solo ex­hi­bi­tion of Maughan’s work.

‘‘ It’s a cel­e­bra­tion of the home­com­ing of one of our lo­cal boys.’’

The six- can­vas panorama cen­tre­piece, A Clear Day, 1999, is bor­rowed from Te Papa’s col­lec­tion.

Maughan was born in Wellington and grew up in Palmer­ston North, where his mother was a land­scape gar­dener.

He lived in London for 10 years and re­turned to New Zealand in 2005.

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