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A series of spectacular paintings by one of New Zealand’s leading Maaori artists is now on display at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato thanks to support from Trust Waikato.

Waikato Museum has purchased Pah Paintings 1 – 4 by Star Gossage (Ngaati Wai, Ngaati Ruanui), a vibrant artwork consisting of four large oil paintings.

Gossage’s use of portrait and figure in the landscape weaves together European art traditions of expressionism and impressionism with the view that people are bound by wairua, whenua, whakapapa and whaanau – spirit, land, ancestry and family.

The work, Pah Paintings 1 – 4, created in 2015, was purchased with funding from a strategic partnership between Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato and Trust Waikato.

Director Museum and Arts, Liz Cotton, thanks Trust Waikato for their ongoing support of key collection acquisitions which assists Waikato Museum to continue to delight and inspire their visitors through art and culture.

“This purchase, for the benefit of Hamilton with no cost to ratepayers, would have been impossible without the generosity of Trust Waikato.

“The work is a stunning example of Star Gossage’s mastery of technique and content, and will significantly enhance the Museum’s collection. It’s wonderful opportunity to reiterate our commitment to elevating the artistic practice of Maaori waahine – and waahine in general – within the collection.”

Born in Ootorohanga in 1973 and now based in Paakiri, Gossage has risen to prominence with emotional and evocative paintings which emerge from her waahine-based, female-centred world.

Her work is held in several private and public collections including the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, James Wallace Arts Trust, and University of Auckland.

Chief Executive at Trust Waikato Dennis Turton said it’s special to have these paintings find their home here in the Waikato.

“We’re excited that a locally-born Maaori artist’s work has been added to enrich the collection and are pleased that Trust Waikato’s funding helps enable such artworks to stay in the region to be enjoyed by all.”

The Trust generously donated its art and taonga collection to Hamilton in 2015 and the strategic partnership provides funding to grow the collection and keep or bring significant artworks to the region. The acquisition of Pah Paintings 1 – 4 was also assisted by the generosity of Star Gossage’s gallerist, Tim Melville (Te Arawa, Ngaati Whakaue, Te Atiawa) from Tim Melville Gallery in Auckland. Fulfilling Gossage’s intention for the four paintings to be kept together, Melville worked to ensure they were acquired by a public institution.

The artwork Pah Paintings 1 – 4 is currently on display at Waikato Museum as part of Star Gossage: He Tangata The People, which covers 20 years of Gossage’s artistic practice and has been on nationwide tour from the NZ Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata. Hamilton is the final stop for the exhibition which is open until Sunday 17 July.

Exhibition details

Star Gossage: He Tangata The People

  • Closes on Sunday 17 July 2022
  • Open daily 10am to 5pm, free entry
  • Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga O Waikato, 1 Grantham St, Hamilton

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