Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy

Opens Whangarei Art Museum Te Manawa Toi

17 February – 20 April 2014

The Whangarei Art Museum will be hosting the national touring exhibition The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy, curated by leading art critic, curator, and poet Gregory O’Brien ONZM, showcasing the charmingly anarchic illustrations of this well-respected but little-known artist.

In 2012 O’Brien was the recipient of the Arts Foundation Laureate Award marking a pivotal moment in his career. At the start of the New Year 2014, Gregory O’Brien was among the distinguished recipients to be made a Member of the Order of Merit in recognition of his services to the arts.

O’Brien worked as a journalist in Northland before entering Auckland University to study art history and English. His significant contribution to literature was acknowledged in 2012 when he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement for Non-Fiction. His recent publications include A Micronaut in the Wide World: The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy (2011) and a monograph of NZ artist Pat Hanly (2012), both of which are available to view in the gallery.

Graham Percy

‘A micronaut in the wide world' the imaginative life and times of Graham Percy’ rediscovers the life and work of one of New Zealand’s most talented and original artists. Percy left this country in the mid-1960s and became a hugely respected artist/illustrator/typographer overseas, while at the same time producing a remarkable body of his own independent art.

This exhibition, and the major publication that accompanies it, celebrates Percy’s achievement as a published illustrator as well as bringing to light a significant body of work never seen before.

His works are held in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland, yet—since his early years in Auckland--they have never been exhibited publicly in New Zealand.

Born in Stratford in 1939, Graham Percy studied at Elam School of Fine Arts before embarking on a career as an illustrator/designer/artist. A contemporary of Greer Twiss, Don Binney, Mervyn Williams and Hamish Keith, Percy was taught by Robert Ellis and Michael Nicholson. Percy was a pivotal figure in the design and illustration of the New Zealand School Journal in the early 1960s, before transplanting to London, where he illustrated over 100 books. His art appeared in John Berger’s groundbreaking television series and book, Ways of Seeing (1972). In 1994, Chronicle Books (San Francisco) published a book of his drawings (for an adult readership), Arthouse. In 2007, a recent series of his drawings, ‘Imagined Histories’ was published in the United Kingdom.

In recent years, the art of Graham Percy has featured in a number of New Zealand publications, notably Cover Up –the art of the book cover in New Zealand, by Hamish Thompson (Random House 2007), which included his well-known covers for such iconic books as The End of the Golden Weather and The Pohutukawa Tree. Percy’s art is a major presence in A Nest of Singing Birds; 100 Years of the New Zealand School Journal, by Gregory O’Brien (Learning Media, 2007) and his art also featured in O’Brien’s Back and Beyond—New Zealand Painting for the Young and Curious (Auckland University Press, 2008).

Like the work of all the great illustrators, Percy’s drawings communicate on many levels—they engage intellectually as well as emotionally. They can be playful and profound at the same time. Although Percy lived for the past forty years in London, his works are often gloriously (and refreshingly) New Zealand-centred. They are a singular playing out of the expatriate condition—they can be funny, touching, insightful, occasionally alarming, but always utterly engaging.

The exhibition and publication will also be a paean to the art of drawing, to the exquisite beauty of the hand-drawn line, to the ink pen and the lead pencil.

The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy is curated and developed by Gregory O’Brien in partnership with Exhibition Services Tours, in association with City Gallery Wellington and Gus Fisher Gallery, The University of Auckland. All artworks courtesy of the Graham Percy Family Trust.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Foo Fighters: Exclusive Show In Support Of Music Foundation

Frontier Touring has today announced that the Foo Fighters will play a last minute intimate and exclusive benefit show at the Auckland Town Hall this Friday February 20 with all profits going to The New Zealand Music Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Celia Lashlie: Legacy Will Live On

Social justice advocate Celia Lashlie leaves a legacy that will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders for years to come, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Celia was a powerful voice for reason, sense and compassion. Her work, particularly with teenage boys, was ground-breaking." More>>

ALSO:

Obituary: Sad Farewell To PPTA Activist Robin Duff

Duff has been a long-time fixture of the association... Most recently Duff has been working hard to support Canterbury teachers through the quakes that devastated the region. More>>

ALSO:

Poroporoaki: Dr Apirana Tuahae Kaukapakapa Mahuika

Papa Api was a man of many great gifts and occupied a long list of roles including priest, teacher, scholar, politician, and leader. Chair of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, and a rangatira of his iwi... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news