Matthew Couper:

The notion of ‘scapes’ has been of interest to me since I was asked to curate an exhibition by Wellington artists at Mahara Gallery, Waikanae, in 2002. I chose the theme of ‘vista’ as a way of incorporating interior scenes, landscapes and psychological scapes. This was a good way to frame works of a seemingly disparate nature. I have used this idea again to group this section.

Wanganui photographer Leigh Mitchell-Anyon’s view of New Zealand shows our society’s affinity with American culture, especially in the image with the Elvis impersonator on parade in Taupo.

We first saw Daniel Phillips’ work at an IHC workshop exhibition in Wellington, where a friend was teaching. Daniel is a prolific artist and after trawling through hundreds of his paintings and pastel drawings, we settled on this particular work, which suggested to us a Picasso-like figure in a McCahon-type landscape.

Matthew Summers reconstructs the New Zealand landscape into pictorial planes, in a style reminiscent of French artist Paul Cézanne. In recent years, the colours in Matthew’s paintings have become more vivid. The three paintings on display show his development from the subtle colour palette he was using when at art school in Wanganui to the more luscious colour and paint application in recent work.

Craig Collier, Pat Macan and Peter Ireland use the landscape as a backdrop for their narratives. John Walsh creates ethereal scapes which set the scene for Maori legends, while Andrew McLeod uses the internet, computer printouts and paint to hold his own art exhibitions in famous New York Art Galleries.

I found the small, portrait-format painting by Myrtle Hampton in a second-hand shop in Wellington and was taken by the way the artist painted the yellow light coming through the trees.