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


Captain Cook as Never Seen Before at Portrait Gallery

Captain Cook as Never Seen Before at Portrait Gallery

Intestinal Tract, by Nigel Brown

A painting of Captain Cook as you have never seen him – with his underpants down and relieving himself in the bushes – will be featured in an exhibition at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery next month.

“This is about as far from an official portrait as you can get – here Cook is caught off guard going about his business,” says Southland artist Nigel Brown, who calls his painting Intestinal Tract.

Two Auckland artists, Lisa Reihana and Gavin Hurley, join Brown in the exhibition Tranquillity Disturb’d: A contemporary look at historical New Zealand which focuses on the impact of Captain James Cook’s three visits to New Zealand in the late 18th century.

Curator Richard Wolfe says: “Arguably no single individual has had such influence on the course of New Zealand history.” He says the three artists offer very different and highly personalised interpretations of Cook’s visits.

“These pictures show the human being underneath the historical figure of exploration,” says Nigel Brown. “Cook becomes one of us.”

Gavin Hurley’s portraits feature previously overlooked subjects - the servant boys who sailed on Cook’s Endeavour, including Nicholas Young, the first crewman to sight New Zealand who gave his name to Young Nick’s Head.

Lisa Reihana, who describes herself as an urban Maori artist, says that she resolved in her contributions to counter “slippery notions of truth and representation” in early European idealised depictions of the Pacific and its people.

The exhibition at the NZ Portrait gallery in Shed 11 on Wellington’s Queen’s Wharf will run from 12 March – 31 May.


© 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