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


Artist in residence captures the magic at the Hermitage

26 November 2010
New Zealand-renowned landscape and portrait artist Belinda Weir is to leave a colourful impression following a stint as ‘artist in residence’ at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.

Since being invited in May to follow in a long tradition of guest artists on the Hermitage Artist in Residence Programme, Weir has painted an array of beautifully captured oil-on-canvas landscapes of the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.

Click for big version

Belinda Weir with her Mount Sefton painting

Among them are paintings of stunning mountain views, featuring Mount Sefton, Mount Wakefield, and Mount Cook (at evening/twilight). Her largest painting, entitled ‘Mount Blackburn under Snow’ will be presented to the Hermitage as a gift when she departs the centre next month.

Weir’s landscape artistry is distinct in conveying the terrain’s texture and rich earthly colours in both a notable painterly and impressionist technique that is reminiscent of the late Southern painter, Duncan Darroch who lived at Aoraki Mount Cook between 1928 and 1967. Belinda used only a pallet knife to apply paint to canvas.

Belinda describes her motivation as “being drawn to what is powerful in the land and to paint what I see there, what moves me” and her time at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre as “an incredibly positive experience that gave me opportunity to develop and grow.”

During winter Weir painted several portraits for staff and visitors at the centre.

“I could paint in the National Park for years and never run out of material,” she said. ”In my work I aim to imply the grandeur of this place rather than try to squeeze it into the frame.”

Denis Callesen, General Manager of Tourism for Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Village Ltd, said Weir’s “unique gift for capturing the magic” of the Southern Alps had hugely impressed staff and visitors.

Click for big version

Mount Cook at evening/twilight, by Belinda Weir

“It has been fantastic to see Belinda around the National Park sketching, photographing and frequenting the ‘artist’s corner’ of the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre,” he said.

“She has found herself perfectly at home here among the National Park’s majestic beauty, power and character and her talent for fine art perfectly encapsulates all these elements into a collection of dynamic, mesmerising artistry.”

“The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre provides all of us with an opportunity to explore and connect to the national identity and celebrate the cultural characteristics New Zealanders hold dear,” said Mr Callesen. “By inviting Kiwi artists to come and paint as part of the Hermitage Artist in Residence Programme, we are holding in time a piece of New Zealand history as to how they depict people, scenery and life today.”

“What has been quite astonishing about Mrs Weir is that her work has developed an extraordinary style reminiscent of the late Duncan Darroch, an artist who lived in the region until his death in 1967 and whose works feature in the centre’s museum.”

Duncan Darroch (1888-1967) was a self-taught Kiwi artist who travelled New Zealand from port to port, as well as countries such as Canada and Britain, painting his journey as he went. In 1928 he moved to Mt Cook. Darroch’s paintings were of seascapes, landscapes and include a wide collection of Aoraki Mount Cook vistas, which were all captured in his unique, impressionist style.

The paintings of Belinda Weir can be viewed in the Hillary Gallery of the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, which is located adjacent to The Hermitage Hotel in the majestic Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Her paintings will go on sale in the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre retail shop at prices ranging from $1500 - $2000.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland