Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Historic Painting Discovered Thanks To Puke Ariki Exhibition

A painting with a history almost as intriguing as Christopher Aubrey himself has been unearthed in the tiny North Taranaki settlement of Tongaporutu.

The nomadic 19th century watercolourist eventually vanished from New Zealand without a trace, but was known to be in Taranaki during 1896, with his work from that time the focus of an exhibition in NPDC’s Puke Ariki Museum.

After hearing about the exhibition, Tongaporutu’s O’Sullivan family stepped forward to let Puke Ariki researchers know they were in possession of an Aubrey work, depicting the Tongaporutu Ferry House in 1896.

The painting has been proudly on display at the site of the old boarding establishment, which was a popular stop for drovers and travellers from the north when their journeys were still determined by the tides at the Tongaporutu River crossing.

Puke Ariki pictorial curator Chanelle Carrick was delighted to be contacted by Emma O’Sullivan, whose family has been connected to the region more than 130 years.

She says the Aubrey painting was lucky to survive a fire which destroyed the original Ferry House in 1937.

“For some reason it was taken down from the house and given to a family down the road for safe keeping. We’re not entirely sure why that happened but very thankful it was,” she says.

O’Sullivan’s great-grandfather, James McKoy established the boarding house with his wife Mary Jane and while the area was meant to be alcohol-free at the time of provincial prohibition, there has been plenty of evidence to suggest the law was bent a little at the elbow.

“When some of the nearby paddocks were excavated they found hundreds if not thousands of whisky bottles buried in underground trenches,” Jono O’Sullivan says.

“Whether or not that had something to do with why the painting was put in safe keeping, we can only speculate.”

While the painting has been touched up and re-framed in New Plymouth at the now closed Wayne’s Gallery, it shows a lot of the features Aubrey used in his other work depicting scenes around the district as he headed north.

“The two figures he has used in this are almost identical in the painting we have of him in Inglewood,” Carrick says.

She remains hopeful other people will come forward with knowledge of other Aubrey paintings as the exhibition, titled 1896: Christopher Aubrey's Taranaki, runs through until August 15 in Puke Ariki’s Lane Gallery.

As well seven of the nomadic painter’s artworks, the exhibition also features a number of interactive elements which are proving popular with visitors.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Covid-19, 17/9: 1,007 Overall Cases, 4,500,000+ Vaccine Doses Administered

11 new cases of Covid-19 have been identified in Auckland today. 535 so far have recovered from their cases in Auckland alongside 15 of 17 in Wellington... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On the moral and scientific case against Covid booster shots

A year ago, a Covid vaccine was still on humanity’s wish list. Now, we’re basing our economic planning - and the safety of opening our borders – on the ability of the new Covid vaccines to reduce infection, hospitalisation and death. Given this reliance and in the face of an evolving virus, there is a lot of anxiety about how well the vaccines protect us, and for how long. Will we need booster shots, and how soon..? More>>


Trans-Tasman: Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has been extended, given the current Delta outbreaks, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “When QFT was established with Australia, both our countries had very few recent cases of COVID-19 community transmission... More>>

Auckland: School holidays remain unchanged

School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo is the best course of action... More>>


Government: Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan

Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today... More>>


Power: Bill Changes Bring Fairness To Charges

A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>

Government: Parks expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>

Child Poverty Action Group: Highest jump in weekly benefit numbers since first lockdown

The current lockdown has triggered the largest weekly increase in benefit recipient numbers since the first lockdown last year, and Child Poverty Action Group is concerned the Government isn't doing enough to assist affected families... More>>




InfoPages News Channels