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l f r
ril it tr . .
rimarily, this show of paintings I call ‘Gone
Fishing’ celebrates a lifetime of fascination
with boats. Boats not ships. Boats used to be
made in wood, dragged down to the habour
and moored to some heavy object on the
seafloor where they stayed till they rotted,
or the weed grew so thick on their hulls that
they sunk in a northerly storm. They had a real
organic life of their own. I always wanted a boat
but never got any closer than a half share in a
dingy. Boats therefore represent a desire for
ownership and freedom to explore the ocean in
some sort of individual heaven as captain.
I’m not talking about fizz boats or plastic
fantasies. Recently on television, in a fish
cooking programme I saw a simple shot of
moored boats on the bright Bosphorus Sea,
and recognised the origins of the profiles
of the sort of boats I’m talking about, no
nonsense modest working boats, the designs
of which have existed for yonks. The sort of
boats I’ve loved to draw and paint. When
I came to live at Otama I made many such
drawings and paintings in the Whitianga
Harbour. Prior to that, I lived in Auckland and
based my boat paintings on the view from
Hammerheads Restaurant in Okahu Bay.
The subtle thing that happened over all this
time is I began to create a marine fantasy
imbued with the colours of my imagining,
arranged in such a way that the shapes in
between became just as important as the
real. Recently I turned out a composition that
I realised was so complete that any aspect
of it worked just as well in isolation from the
rest. This experience I realised was based on
the reality of the impermanence of everything.
I could send off any boat from this fantasy
harbour, send it out to the ocean of oblivion
and what remained still existed. I tried this with
every boat in the harbour and began to come
up with these various compositions.
Where had these boats gone? ‘Gone Fishing’.
As I go fishing every time I begin a new
composition and new painting, never knowing
what I’ll catch.
by Michael D. Smither
Michael, on the beach near his home, sketches
a rowboat, from the DVD
Michael Smither: The
Next Ten Years 2009 - 2019
Films, view atwww.vimeo.com/27220528)
EXHIBITION OF NEW WORKS BY MICHAEL SMITHER
Bread &Butter Gallery
5 MARCH – 4 APRIL
A month-long exhibition of Michael D.
Smither’s new paintings, ‘Gone Fishing’,
will be at the Bread & Butter Gallery on 26
Albert St in Whitianga.
“The opening of ‘Gone Fishing’ is at midday
Saturday”, says gallery owner Christine
Rabarts, “and all are welcome to attend and
join the celebration with the artist.”
Smither, a founding member and patron of
the MBAE, will be at the opening until about
1pm, and also be at the gallery 12-1pm, Sat
12th March. The show ends April 4.
“Michael’s latest exhibition continues a
lifetime exploration of boats, reflections and
use of shapes. Michael has created a good
body of work for this impressive collection
of original paintings, and ‘Gone Fishing’ is
set to be another stunning exhibition”.
Renown as one of our most recognised
master painters in NZ, Michael has been
painting for over 55 years. His paintings
are held in numerous public collections
including Auckland Art Gallery and Te Papa
Tongawera Museum of New Zealand and
prominent private collections.
MEET MASTER ARTIST
MICHAEL D. SMITHER
Exhibition opens March 5WWW.COROMANDELLIFE.CO.NZ