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Trevor Moffitt, Committee Meeting of Prohibitionists,
Hokonui Moonshine Series, 1998, oil on board

TREVOR MOFFIT: South

16 February – 7 April 2019

Born in Gore in 1936, Trevor Moffitt is arguably one of New Zealand’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 locating the human figure within the landscape 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 and he developed numerous series based on such archetypes, including accused sheep stealer James Mackenzie (1965). 

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. These donated works, augmented by the Gallery’s own holdings, provide a valuable overview of this remarkable artist’s career. This exhibition showcases a selection of that work focusing on the South and includes work from the ‘Gold Miner’, ‘My Father’s Life’, ‘Mackenzie’ and ‘Hokonui Moonshine’ series.