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Our First Settler Ships - Oil Paintings by Paul Deacon

Ticket Information

  • Free Admission


  • Wed 21 Feb 2024, 10:30am–4:00pm
  • Thu 22 Feb 2024, 10:30am–4:00pm
  • Fri 23 Feb 2024, 10:30am–4:00pm
  • Sat 24 Feb 2024, 10:30am–4:00pm
  • Sun 25 Feb 2024, 10:30am–4:00pm

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All Ages

Listed by

Alfred Memelink

Petone’s seaside Art & Gift Gallery is excited to present an exhibition by Paul Deacon featuring oil paintings of many of the first imigrant ships to New Zealand. This exciting exhibition will be of particular interest to relatives of the early settlers. It opens on Wellington Anniversary Weekened which celebrates the arrival of the first settler ships at Petone beach.

Paul Deacon, based in Nelson, is one of New Zealand’s foremost maritime artists. He is especially well known for his knowledge and accurate depiction of sailing ships in his magnificent oil paintings. In preparing for this exhibition, Paul undertook considerable research in order to depict each scene as historically accurately as possible. The exhibition will also display a number interesting A3 size preliminary sketches and studies in which Paul worked out the concept and composition of each painting.

In one of the oil paintings Paul has painted the very first settler ship, Aurora, arriving off Petone Beach on 22nd Jan 1840. He has carefully captured a historic moment with the Aurora shown receiving a gun salute from the Cuba and being welcomed by Pito – One Maori in their Waka. Looking in closer detail at the painting, the viewer can see that the helmsman has headed the vessel up into the wind whilst her sailors have ‘backed the sails’ to bring the ship to rest, ready to drop anchor. Other crew have been deployed on the yards in readiness to furl sails. Crew can be seen rowing ahead in one of the Aurora’s row boats, taking soundings and trying to find an area of seabed suitable to anchor. This painting in particular tells a fascinating story of our history through art. A limited edition of 100 prints on German etching paper is available of this painting.

What makes Paul’s exhibition extra special is that it coincides with the 10th birthday celebrations of Alfred’s gallery which was officially opened by the Mayor of Lower Hutt, Ray Wallace on 24th January 2014. During the last ten years, the seaside gallery has grown in popularity to exhibit art in many genres by over two hundred local and New Zealand artists. The gallery has become a popular go to place for prints and art of Wellington and also provides an extensive range of unique NZ gifts. Also growing in popularity at the gallery are the fun art classes run for adults and youth during school holidays.

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