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Philip Trusttum, Everything, 2019, oil on canvas


CMT and Other Probs…..

26 November 2022 - 29 January 2023

Christchurch based Philip Trusttum is a leading New Zealand figurative, expressionist artist. Born in Raetihi in 1940, he trained at Canterbury University’s School of Fine Arts from 1961–1964. Among his teachers was Lithuanian painter and lecturer Rudolf Gopas, whose expressionist style strongly influenced Trusttum’s early work. He is a prolific painter and printmaker and is represented by a large body of work that spans more than six decades.


Trusttum’s works are usually large-scale and on un-stretched canvas. His manipulation of spatial tensions and balancing of shapes and perspectives, give his paintings an intense energy. His work has largely been inspired by everyday life experiences often worked into a semi-abstract form. Subject matter has ranged from landscapes and tennis, gardening and horses, to Japanese masks and portraits. Trusttum’s technique embraces an interest in patterns and textures which have a basis in both European expressionist painting and the tapa cloth and weaving traditions of the South Pacific.  


These thematic works address issues very personal to the artist’s immediate family and were completed over the past 3-4 years.
“My wife Lee was born with a hereditary genetic condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT for short), that affects the peripheral nervous system, resulting in paralysis to varying degrees. Through the generations members of her original family have had the same condition, which now includes our daughter Hannah and grandson William. These works are a comment on this disease.”

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