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Marian Maguire

Genre: Fine Art

Country of Origin: New Zealand

Born in Christchurch in 1962, Marian Maguire graduated from the Ilam School of Art, University of Canterbury, in 1984, having majored in printmaking. During 1986 she studied at the Tamarind Institute of Lithography, Albuquerque, USA, and alongside making her own work she has pursued a career as a collaborative master printer, in which capacity she has printed the work of some of New Zealand’s leading artists. Maguire set up Limeworks print studio with Stephen Gleeson in 1987 which operated until 1994. From 1993 to 1996 she taught printmaking part-time at Ilam School of Art, University of Canterbury and in 1996 established PaperGraphica, a print studio and gallery which she and fellow artist Nigel Buxton jointly direct. Currently Maguire works almost full-time on her own work.

She was awarded an Artist in Residence at the Otago Polytechnic School of Art in 1991 and received an Award for Excellence from the Canterbury Community Trust in 1998. In 2010 she was Artist in Residence at Tylee Cottage, Whanganui.

Marian Maguire has exhibited throughout New Zealand. Her early work was mainly figurative and gestural but in the early nineties she shifted her subject to emblematic images of gates, archways and bridges. Her exhibitions include Library Travelling (McDougall Art Annex, Christchurch, 1996), in which she incorporated imagery from a wide range of historical sources with gates, archways, bridges, architectural plans and imaginary travelling, linking sixty-six small etchings and three large composite prints in a loose narrative. Perfect Planning (Centre of Contemporary Art, Christchurch 1996; Lesley Kriesler Gallery, New Plymouth, 1997) and Regarding the Renaissance (Centre of Contemporary Art, 1997) followed and in these series of paintings she explores the relationship between the architects of the Italian Renaissance and the art, architecture and mathematics of ancient Greece. Through this enquiry into Greek art she became interested in black-figure vase painting and produced two exhibitions, Vases & Narratives (Centre of Contemporary Art, 1999) and Mythical Landscapes (Eastern Southland Gallery, Gore, 2000, Centre of Contemporary Art, 2000).

While working on her next narrative print series, The Labours of Herakles, Maguire also made The Paper Garden, in which she combines patterning from Greek vase painting with her own observation of nature (PaperGraphica, 2007), and she contributed to the exhibition of Deities ad Mortals, in which eight artists were asked to respond to the items from the Logie Collection of classical artefacts (Christchurch Art Gallery, 2007). The Labours of Herakles series of lithographs and etchings, in which she casts the Greek hero as a New Zealand pioneer, was first released at PaperGraphica in 2008. It has since been on a twenty venue tour throughout New Zealand which finishes October 2012; the tour is organised by Exhibition Services. Half of the Herakles series was also shown at Impact 7: International Multi-disciplinary Printmaking Conference (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia 2011).

During 2011 she completed Titokowaru’s Dilemma, an exhibition encompassing three series of prints, which investigates aspects of the New Zealand wars of the 1860s to 1880s with Titokowaru, the Maori prophet and war leader, as protagonist. The prints at times echo the mythic struggle on the fields of Troy but Maguire also has Titokowaru engage with Socrates as he ponders whether to resist the onslaught of colonisation through passive resistance or warfare. Titokowaru’s Dilemma was first shown at Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui, in 2011 and is currently on a tour New Zealand galleries and museums. The tour is organised by Exhibition Services.

Marian Maguire is represented in public collections including: Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa; Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki; Christchurch Art Gallery, Te Puna o Waiwhetu; National Gallery of Australia; The Waikato Museum, Te Whare Taonga o Waikato; University of Canterbury; Massey University; The Hocken Collection, University of Otago; New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Central Queensland University, Australia; Cambridge University, United Kingdom; The Birthplace of Captain Cook Museum, Middlesborough, United Kingdom.