Coromandel Life Spring/Holiday 2013 - page 7

Inspired by many summers spent in Cooks
Beach, Raglan artist Jane Galloway’s cover
Summer Magic
, is the view from
nearby Front Beach (Maramaratotara Bay), an
intimate cove sheltered by shimmering white
cliffs and vibrant, iconic pohutukawa.
Jane and her family treasure fond memories
of the time spent on the Coromandel, where
she would gather photos to paint from in the
winter months back in Raglan. “We enjoyed the
gentler climate, the east coast sunrises, tiny
islands, white sand beaches and turquoise sea.
Each visit built on memories of the previous
summers as we rented baches from Whiritoa
to Whitianga; we took day trips to as many
beaches as those few weeks allowed.”
Jane graduated with First Class Honours
from Elam art school in Auckland where her
painting tutors were Garth Tapper, Bob Ellis
and Don Binney, whose continued influence
swayed Jane to a more recent social activist
artistic stance.
“When I was at Elam, painting techniques
were no longer taught; artists had to be
self-motivated.” There was less emphasis
on painting with “the explosion of avenues of
artistic expression in the 1970s,” when painting
was judged as outdated. “However, a group of
us students spent many evenings at the local
Kiwi tavern passionately discussing art with
conservationist Don, while Garth taught us the
dedication needed to be an artist.”
Jane soon had a family and put aside
being a practicing artist to run a leather
business. Her move to a tiny Raglan bach
in the 1990s coincided with the inspiration
(and time) to begin painting again. “At first I
was just keen to relearn forgotten painting
techniques, especially watercolour, a medium
I felt I could use in my tiny bach.” Raglan’s
rugged coastline and harbour provided many
subjects, and her works often sold out in
shows over the following decade.
An interest in photography, sparked by her
partner Stuart Mackenzie, lead them to jointly
produce a range of greeting cards under
the Palm Prints brand, wholesaled locally
and internationally by Live Wires NZ. “The
request for several new card ranges each
year brought me full-circle back to producing
However, in the last 3 years Jane has spent
less time portraying her beautiful coastal
vistas, and more expressing a “concern for
how we are affecting our natural world”. An
essay by her Elam mentor, artist Don Binney,
accompanied her most recent exhibition,
“There is No Planet B”. Inspired by the iconic
bird paintings Don was famous for, the show
included images of dynamic New Zealand
birds flying over stark cityscapes. “It is a bit of
a miracle I guess,” Binney wrote, “that such
a relatively generous portion of this natural
world has endured cycles of assault from
man, fire, rat, axe, gun and Ministry of Works.”
With the Planet B November 2012 show at
Cambridge’s Heritage Gallery, Jane did not
hold back on the environmental intent or
message. “To move to another planet is at
present an impossible dream,” she says, “and
even thinking it may happen one day, does not
relieve the urgency of environmental issues
With Don’s passing last September, Jane
finds herself at a crossroads. “It’s a wonderful
process to constantly need to clarify and
understand my perception of life, art and the
environment in order to express something
Jane has participated in dozens of solo and
group shows in the North Island. Many of her
card designs are also available as limited
edition prints, and both can be purchased at
The Little Gallery of Fine Arts in Tairua and the
Heritage Gallery in Cambridge. To see Jane’s
range of images, go to View Jane’s work in her home/studio
environment by phoning (07) 825 0083 to
make an appointment.
Our Cover Artist
Jane Galloway
Painting from Jane’s series:
“There is no Planet B – Piwakawaka”
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