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28 August 2015

Generous gift for Eastern Southland Gallery

A collection of work by one of Gore’s most famous artistic sons, Trevor Moffitt, will have a permanent home at the Eastern Southland Gallery thanks to the generosity of an Auckland woman.

The 35 oil paintings arrive at the Gallery this week from the home of Enyth Good. Eastern Southland Gallery Curator Jim Geddes said Ms Good was a passionate and astute collector of art who maintains a low profile.

The Gallery was introduced to her through Christchurch art dealer and auction house proprietor Toby Macalister, who was of enormous assistance in encouraging the two parties to meet, he said.

The Gallery already has five works by Moffitt – two were gifted while three were purchased as a result of fundraising.

“The high value Moffitt’s work attracts these days has stymied any future purchases. Key Southland works such as Gold Miner Series and My Father’s Life Series have, until now, been missing from the Gallery’s collection.”

Mr Geddes describes Moffitt as arguably this country’s leading narrative painter – “his expressionistic paintings revealed and celebrated the lives and stories of ordinary working New Zealanders”.

Born in Gore in 1936 and raised in Waikaia, Moffitt initially studied art at the Southland Technical College, in Invercargill. He graduated from the University Of Canterbury School Of Fine Art with honours in painting in 1959.

His output was prodigious and his work featured in many national exhibitions and publications. He was also the subject of a significant biography shortly before his death in Christchurch in 2006.

Moffitt’s legacy lives on in New Zealand’s most significant public and private art collections including Auckland City Gallery, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, the Christchurch Art Gallery and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

Mr Geddes said Moffitt worked consistently on a standard format, oil on board, and his works were invariably the same size. As a result, this will be one of the easiest collections to manage and work with.

Ms Good has been invited to Gore and the Gallery is hopeful of hosting her later this year, he said.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: info@goredc.govt.nz