beauty, even: Joanna Margaret Paul 1945-2003


Media Release: December, 2004. 

beauty, even is a tribute to the life and work of Joanna Margaret Paul. It commemorates this painter, film-maker and poet whose art found beauty in the ordinary details of life.

Paul was one of New Zealand’s most prolific and intriguing artists. She worked across an array of media, including drawing, painting, poetry, film-making and photography. Paul’s creative practice was intricately entwined with her life, and responded strongly to her immediate surroundings.

Although Paul was an extremely dedicated and focused artist, and her work is held by all major public New Zealand art collections, she was not a careerist, and avoided the limelight. She once described painting as: ‘not a job, not even a vocation. It is part of life, subject to the strains, and joys, of domestic life’.

beauty, even gives an insight into Paul’s broad practice. Alongside paintings and drawings, the exhibition includes a compilation of the experimental films which Paul made during the 1970s and early 1980s. It also includes examples of her sketchbooks, drawings and published writing.

Born in Hamilton in 1945, Paul was the eldest child of booksellers and publishers Blackwood and Janet Paul. Paul died unexpectedly in Rotorua last year, aged 57.

Exhibition developed by City Gallery Wellington & the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare O Rehua Whanganui

For more information, images or interview opportunities, please contact:

Courtney Johnston 

Publicist, City Gallery Wellington 

T: 04 801 3959

City Gallery Wellington gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the New Zealand Film Archive.

City Gallery Wellington is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust with major funding from the Wellington City Council.