the colour of tea rings

Luncheon Under the Ash Tree, Evelyn Page, undated. Image from Courtesy of the Ian and Elespie Prior Collection. www.city-gallery.org.nzThe other day, hiding from the rain, I spent a brief interlude at the City Gallery’s Luncheon Under the Ash Tree: The Ian & Elespie Prior Collection – a touring exhibition from the Masterton Museum and Gallery Aratoi. It’s part of the private art collection of Wellingtonian, Dr Ian Prior, and his late wife Elespie.

There are works by Colin McCahon, Toss Woollaston, Ralph Hotere, John Drawbridge, Evelyn Page, and Milan Mrkusich, and I believe the works have been selected for their comprehensive demonstration of the use of colours selected from the palate of post World War II Morris Minors. You know the ones – colours inspired by hemorrhoids. Skid brown. Sky brown. Sage brown. Rust brown. Duck egg brown. Latte brown. Tea bag in the sink brown. Oatmeal brown.

There was quite a lot of brown. I believe the City Gallery, again, has done an uninspired effort in terms of mounting the exhibition. Thanks and chops to Dr Prior for sharing his paintings; City Gallery, come on people – get with the programme. Inspired hanging and dynamic exhibition of our cultural heritage would be a good thing to do soon.

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