Layers of Aotearoa

Caroline Bellamy, Michelle Bellamy & Steve Bellamy

Exhibition: 20 October - 3 November 2020

Exhibiting together for the first time, ‘Layers of Aotearoa’ brings together new paintings by sisters Caroline and Michelle Bellamy, and their father Steve Bellamy.

Caroline’s large scale abstract works in oil depict the naturalistic landforms of our untouched and wild regions. A passionate mountaineer, the artist will spend days tramping through the high ridges, rivers, and ranges of the North and South Islands gathering imagery and a sense of place that she then brings back to the studio. Her simplification and exaggeration of the landscape communicates an emotive atmosphere through vibrant and energetic brushstrokes, extracting elements and exaggerating geometric form.

Sharing her sister’s passion for exploration of the natural environment, Michelle finds inspiration in the corners and nooks of New Zealand’s lakes and surrounding inhabited landscapes.  Working in acrylic, she creates meticulously detailed geographic representations that register a human presence on the landscape through the inclusion of familiar features such as South Island cribs and huts, set amongst exquisitely rendered tussock grasses and native flora. Michelle’s precision brushwork and skilful layering of colour serves to intensify the clarity of New Zealand’s natural light and beauty.

An avid fisherman, Steve is drawn to the coastline, observing the ever-changing tones of the water and reflected landforms. Still and serene scenes in acrylic on canvas are built through a sensitively applied palette in rich natural tones, accentuating the sense of light and shadow dancing across the ridges of a coastline. Working to large scale, Steve places us right on the water, viewing the coastline’s natural beauty from a unique and contemporary vantage point.

Painting the New Zealand landscape is common ground for the Bellamy family, while each of the artist’s focus and style remains uniquely their own as they explore the New Zealand terrain.

This is a story from the mountains to sea, and the layers of land in between.