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One of NZ’s best ever Creatures Exhibitions on

July 5, 2004

One of NZ’s best ever Creatures Exhibitions at Ferner’s

One of the finest dedicated exhibitions of New Zealand animals, birds and other creatures opens at the Ferner Galleries in Parnell, Auckland, next week.

Some of the most outstanding works by leading top New Zealand artists feature in Ferner `Creatures Recreated exhibition’ opening July 12.

One of New Zealand’s best bird painters, Don Binney, is represented in the show by a large charcoal drawing of a takahe done in 1971. Binney lives in Auckland and his works are held in major public collections in Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton.

``We have sold recently-painted bird images by Paul Martinson for up to $30,000. The variety of native fauna and birds in this country has inspired artists to record our uniqueness.

``Images of the kiwi and other native birds have become symbols of identity and reference a nationalist spirit that emerged in art here by the mid-20th century. Artist E. Mervyn Taylor in the 1950s created wood engravings of native bush pigeons and fantails to celebrate a point of difference between New Zealand and ' mother' England.’’ Ms Poland said Martinson specialised in painting endangered, rare birds and extinct birds. Two of his works are in the exhibition: a watercolour of a black fantail in Fiordland National Park and an oil painting of a white swan.

The biggest artwork in the exhibition is Dick Frizzell's pop art ‘Pa*Kow!’, which is a life size cow painted in the style of a comic strip illustration. The Cow was commissioned for last year’s Cow Parade in Auckland and was thrown into the harbour and later retrieved.

Prices in the exhibition range from $1200 to $55,000 and the most expensive painting is an 1876 watercolour by Charles D. Barraud of a view from Mt Earnslaw looking toward Lake Wakatipu. The foreground slopes are dotted with wiry sheep. The screen-printed kiwi that appears in Ian Scott’s ‘Kiwi Subjects, Haast Valley’ (1990) painting is a recycled image which makes a wry comment on how New Zealanders see themselves.

As one of New Zealand's leading galleries, Ferner is the only art dealer in their field to operate in both Auckland and Wellington.

Pets, livestock, animals, fish and birds have played a significant role in the formation of New Zealand culture with several becoming symbols of New Zealand identity, Ms Poland said.

``The sheep and the kiwi have become national icons while other fauna and creatures have made their way into indigenous folklore.’’


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