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The Art of Fish > A Fish e-Business

The Art of Fish > A Fish e-Business

Eric Heath at his Waikanae studio

People/Arts & Culture/Business/Marine

The Art of Fish > A Fish e-Business

Natural history paintings by a somewhat forgotten yet iconic New Zealand artist are being officially offered from today on a new online gallery. Fish Art Gallery, , launches on the 28th of November and has as its inaugural exhibition ‘Heath Remastered’, the New Zealand marine life paintings of Eric Heath, former editorial cartoonist at Wellingtons Dominion (Dompost) newspaper.

The exhibition is a presentation of approximately 400 of the nearly 900 marine life paintings by Heath produced between 1960 and 1988 for a series of books on New Zealand marine biodiversity. The launch date coincides with Eric Heath’s 85th birthday.

Described as “the single most important collection of natural history marine life art in the history of New Zealand” by Keith Cagney from Eikon Productions, the company behind the new website, “Eric’s marine life paintings were the first produced in full colour, by a New Zealander for New Zealander’s, and we believe the collection to be the largest by any one artist and in collaboration with Eric, using digital technology, we have recompiled the paintings into a series prints including montages with up to 175 paintings forming sea creature such as a crab, seahorse or fish for example, the resulting artwork having jewel-like qualities of colour depth and detail” says Cagney.

“We have tried to do a little more than simply be another online art store. We have gone to great lengths to tell the story behind the artist, the art and broadly speaking, New Zealand marine culture” says Cagney, “for example, while researching we found interesting facts such as; the first B.Sc. degree granted in New Zealand was given to a marine biologist, Charles Chilton in 1887 by the first university in New Zealand, Otago, founded in November 1869”

“We researched and compiled a New Zealand marine industry website database which contains links approximately 1690 marine websites; we set up FISHTV channels via Youtube and created some New Zealand oceanic themed apparel brands while we were at it, it was quite a task” he says.

“Most importantly though, we have done our best to create items that can be genuinely described as New Zealand heirlooms, yet are very affordable. One of our goals is to foster greater awareness for our New Zealand marine life legacy, and what better way to do that than through an artistic legacy, that of an authenticated Eric Heath marine life painting”.


• In his life, Eric Heath has produced a staggering number of multimedia artworks, sculptures, models & cartoons that reflect the many facets of life, society and the material world of New Zealand, and is without doubt a cultural & heritage legacy to treasure.
• Eric Heath retired from the Dominion in 1993 after having produced 5 editorial cartoons a week for 28 years amounting to an amazing 7000 or so cartoons;
• Eric Heath has produced illustrations for over 100 commissioned or collaborative books. The subject matter is diverse, from the natural world, including fishes, birds, insects and ferns through to iconic images of ships and railway engines, many of which played their part in the story of New Zealand.
• In 2003 Eric Heath was elected an Artist Member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts
• Fish Art Gallery has approximately 3000 prints that have been authenticated by Eric Heath.

Fish Art Gallery – - Live from 28th November 2008.

Note to editor: In the event, running this story in some shape or form will result in; A specially produced (we made 50) complementary Plate 261 Seahorse Montage measuring 317 x 45mm on heavy-weight gloss photo paper, having been authenticated by Eric Heath, been sent to a name and address of your choosing. If, in the event more than one person is deserved from within the office, and be honest, we will do our up-most to accommodate the situation. Simply email me your details. Thank you. Keith Cagney


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