For background on the artist and works, see below.
About the ArtistBorn 1954 in Tolaga Bay, John Walsh is of Aitanga a Hauiti and New Zealand Irish descent. Although largely self-taught, he studied art at Ilam, Canterbury University in 1973-74. After many years primarily exhibiting around his home region of Gisborne and Eastland, John Walsh had his first major solo exhibition when he was nearly 40 years old, and quickly established a reputation for a mythical realism, founded in the landscape but often featuring mythological figures questing within, moving through or above the land. Walsh rose quickly to prominence, with works on an increasingly large scale. Often his works are in response to contemporary incidents, with a subtle thread of underlying humour, or more serious issues to do with human connection with the land, also influenced by Maori mythology, incorporating ancestral and legendary figures.
We currently have two major works by John Walsh, from his trip to Meretoto/Ship Cove as part of the gallery’s First Contact project. He previously visited Fiordland in 2010 with three other artists at the invitation of documentary maker Peta Carey, to film their artistic responses to the places visited by Captain James Cook and painter William Hodges. You can view the documentary The Waterfall on YouTube.
John Walsh also created an etching & aquatint for the National Whale Centre artist project; his first work in this medium, a beautiful expressive piece. This work has nearly sold out, please enquire.