Trevor Moffitt: Paintings 1966 - 2001
17 December 2016 - 19 February 2017
Born in Gore in 1936, Trevor Moffitt is arguably one of the country’s most notable narrative painters. His expressionist paintings reveal the lives and stories of ordinary working New Zealanders. Moffitt graduated from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1959. Unlike many of his contemporaries whose work pursued a nationalism based on the landscape, Moffitt’s interests resided in locating the human figure in the land and in 1962 he began the Gold Miners series, based on childhood memories of Southland. Moffitt had a preference for outsiders or local heroes, admiring Sydney Nolan’s Ned Kelly paintings. He developed numerous series based on such archetypes, including accused sheep stealer James Mackenzie (1965). Often confrontational in their honesty, Moffitt’s work was admired by his peers, (including tutor at the School of Art, Bill Sutton), but have only recently received more substantial national attention.
In July 2015 the Gallery was very fortunate to be gifted an extensive collection of paintings by Trevor Moffitt, built up over a number of years, by Enyth Good of Auckland. Many of the 33 works gifted reference the artist’s home province of Southland and many are representative of the wide range of series’ works that were forthcoming from Moffitt’s Christchurch studio - right up until his death in 2006. The Moffitt paintings in Enyth Good’s collection essentially begin with Mackenzie from the mid 1960’s and end with Hokonui in 2001. This exhibition showcases that very generous gift.
Image: Watching the NZ Army Team Play Wales (My Father's Life Series), 1979, oil on board, Gift of Enyth Good 2015