Art, Stories and Travel

Beneath the Surface – cultural Identity

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Continuing the series of paintings I completed in Rotorua at the Artists residency. This is a series of two works in the iconic Rotorua Government Gardens showing the influences on the area. In the first painting I focus on the colonial times dating back to the early 1900’s when the building was designed. It was built as a bath house which reminds me of Rotorua’s long tourism history. Although it is no longer a spa, it sits next to the equally famous Polynesion Spa which continues the role. The building is currently closed for earthquake strengthening. When it re-opens for a new chapter in its evolving life, continuing as a museum and major tourist attraction.

Government Gardens #1: Colonial Identity

610 x 910 mm Acrylic on Canvas, 2020

Original Painting   NZD $900 each – sold as a set of two, framed (excludes postage/shipping)

The painting shows the Englishness of the iconic Rotorua Government Gardens building and surrounding environment. The tudor (Officially Elizabethan revivalist) building was finished in 1908 as a spa and bath house to attract tourists. The environs house the lamp poles, park benches, bowls area. The seal of New Zealand shows the Maori warrior with a young Queen. Is it fading away?

Government Gardens Rotorua – Maori/Pacific identity

610 x 910 mm Acrylic on Canvas, 2020

Original Painting  NZD $ 900 framed (Excludes Shipping/postage)

This painting shows the bi-cultural nature of the building and environment. The original tudor building remains but with coloured glass windows, phoenix palm, pou whenua and fence motif. I also incorporated the Hundertwasser koru flag, a symbol of this transition away from our colonial past. Is this aspect getting stronger?

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