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Vestiges: Travels on the South Island


Thu 7 Oct 2010, 10:00am–5:00pm
Fri 8 Oct 2010, 10:00am–6:00pm
Sat 9 Oct 2010, 10:00am–3:00pm
Mon 11 Oct 2010, 10:00am–5:00pm
Tue 12 Oct 2010, 10:00am–5:00pm

Where: Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts, 33 George Street, Palmerston North

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Vestiges: Travel on the South Island – New Paintings by Jill Brandon will feature 16 recent oil paintings on canvas. Like Rita Angus, returning to Central Otago continues to fascinate Jill not only for the awe inspiring landscape but also the history of the area. Travelling through Otago with her husband in their motorhome, over the last two years has provided an insight into the pioneering spirit of the 1860s. These paintings interact with the viewer to communicate the charm and spirit of those early days.

Painting about the vestiges of the schist structures and the remnants of the adobe cottages on the landscape, these works ‘narrate’ the stories and histories of past toils, agricultural practices and mining activities. The ‘vestiges’ that the artist documents are being continually re-fashioned over time by the cyclic nature of the seasons, weather patterns and usage by people. Various forces are contributing to the disappearance of the past at a landslide pace and they may no longer add colour and character to the Otago landscape. This exhibition highlights the importance of some of our buildings and artifacts speaking volumes about dreams, aspirations, and lifestyles, telling us who we are and where we come from.

Jill Brandon writes: “The forces of nature as observed in the environment have always been my constant inspiration as a painter. Being a ‘plein aire’ enthusiast, I prefer to harmonise with the environment seeking out a relationship between the existing characteristics of a chosen site. Being introduced to drawing and painting by an inspiring art teacher while at secondary school provided an outlet for my sense of expression and became a turning point in my life. My time as a student at art school was a privilege providing the opportunity to be taught by some of the country’s artistic trailblazers: Garth Tapper, Dame Louise Henderson and Colin McCahon among others. I was then fortunate to be guided by Peter Smith into the teaching realm which provided a career as a visual arts teacher in secondary education. This was followed with art advising in schools leading to opportunities in curriculum and assessment development in the visual arts at the national level. Latterly, being a Head of School at Massey University College of Education, Palmerston North, engaged me in visual research literature in the arts. However, teaching, advising, engaging in research and writing about the arts has never deterred my passion of painting.

"I believe my journeys into painting landscapes about remote locations of New Zealand were formulated in me as a very young child. In the 1950s I remember my father being a commercial traveller and at one stage living in Dunedin for a short time. The Otago area once again became my home when my own children were very young in the late 1960s. During this time I travelled often, drawn not only by the awe-inspiring landscape but also by the history of the Otago region. One hundred and fifty years on, the life styles, dreams and aspirations of a vanished mining industry barely remain in the landscape. These paintings will hopefully give the viewer a sense of the abilities of our forefathers who were able to withstand hardship, were determined and adaptable under adversity.”

Jill Brandon is a full-time artist who has had many successful exhibitions here and overseas. She has exhibited her Outback paintings both at the 2010 New Zealand Art Show in Wellington and at the Taylor-Jensen Gallery in 2009. One of her paintings was selected for inclusion in the Norsewear Art Award in 2004. Jill was one of 3 New Zealand women artists to show work in 2002 at Vergette Gallery, Carbondale, Illinois, USA. In 2001 she showed her Pohangina Series at Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts as part of a Massey University College of Education visual arts staff and graduate students exhibition. One of her paintings (Pohangina Series1) was selected for display in the Manawatu Art Awards at the Manawatu Art Gallery (2001).

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