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Rod Eales, A Thorn in its Side, oil on board


Portrait of an Icon - The Crown Lynn Swan
24 February - 6 May 2018

Portrait of an Icon celebrates an iconic feature of New Zealand’s social and cultural heritage, the Crown Lynn swan vase. Crown Lynn is one of New Zealand’s more notable manufacturers. From being a producer of bricks, pipes and electrical fittings in the 1930’s at New Lynn, Auckland, Crown Lynn grew to become the largest pottery in the southern hemisphere. Most New Zealander’s used Crown Lynn dinner sets every day and excess production was exported. The swan vase was just one design out of hundreds, but one that has survived to tell us a little more about our cultural identity.


The swan was produced in three sizes, with the larger and smaller versions the most popular. Over a period of 60 years the swan had undergone a complete cycle, from its height of popularity where almost every household had at least one, to relative obscurity, then back again.


The paintings in this exhibition are inspired by the artist’s own collection of swan vases and are executed in oil on board on either a circular or oval format. Some of the paintings make connections to aspects of the swan’s historical origins while others simply capture the elegance and the essence of the swan, focusing on the range of coloured glazes that Crown Lynn incorporated in their production.


Rod Eales was born in Whakatane, Bay of Plenty. After graduating with a Diploma in Fine Arts from Otago Polytechnic, she completed a Teaching Diploma at Dunedin College of Education. Since then she has divided her time between art and teaching. For over 20 years she has been painting and exhibiting regularly throughout New Zealand and her work is represented in collections both nationally and internationally.


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