Art & creativity, Things to do  |  30 Sep 2022

The otherworldly visions of two of New Zealand’s most celebrated painters are arriving at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū this spring with the opening of two new exhibitions – Jeffrey Harris: The Gift and Barbara Tuck: Delirium Crossing.

Jeffrey Harris: The Gift
1 October 2022 – 12 March 2023

Over the past 50 years, leading New Zealand painter Jeffrey Harris has developed a reputation for deeply personal, autobiographical work that is intrinsically linked to the Waitaha Canterbury and Ōtākou Otago regions.

“As well as showcasing a number of outstanding early paintings, drawings and etchings from the city’s collection, The Gift includes an important body of work recently given to the Gallery by two of Jeffrey’s long-time supporters, Patricia Bosshard-Browne and Kobi Bosshard,” says Blair Jackson, Director of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.

Among the works is the major painting Call It A Loan from 1981, as well as a number of drawings and paintings made when the largely self-taught Harris was living in Akaroa during the 1970s.

“In Jeffrey’s distinctive work we see multiple nods to New Zealand and European art historical references. He often reinterprets old family photographs, delving into the existential intricacies of family and relationships,” Mr Jackson says.

“These paintings are expressive and unsettling, and rich with symbolism and meaning. The Gift is the perfect chance for visitors to connect with them at their leisure.''

*Pictured above, Jeffrey Harris Call It A Loan 1981. Oil on canvas. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, gift of Patricia Bosshard-Browne, 2019

Barbara Tuck: Delirium Crossing
15 October 2022 – 26 March 2023

Barbara Tuck When the water came 2012. Oil on board. Private collection

Barbara Tuck paints ambiguous, floating picture worlds – the realms she conjures are restless, and consider the passage of history, humanity’s role in it, and the present environmental and refugee crises.

Born in the Waikato in 1943 and producing artwork since the 1960s, Tuck’s dreamlike landscapes have become increasingly well-known over the last 20 years.

Mr Jackson says Delirium Crossing is a rare opportunity to engage with Tuck’s thoughtful art, along with fresh insights from her collaborators.

“This isn’t a career retrospective for Barbara Tuck, but a selection of works from the last two decades carefully chosen through a collaborative exchange with art writers, art historians, artists and poets familiar with her work.

“Fourteen of these collaborators have contributed essays to the book Delirium Crossing, published to coincide with the exhibition. Writing is a huge part of Barbara’s work – she’s a reader and often quotes different writers in the titles of her works.”