Jane Pountney- Wade in the Water


Media Release: September, 2005. 

City Gallery Wellington is proud to present a tribute to one of Wellington’s foremost landscape artists of recent decades, Jane Pountney (1949-2004).

Born in Rotorua in 1949 and raised on the family farm at Galatea, Jane Pountney completed a Diploma of Education in 1968 and taught in both Australia and New Zealand. Pountney began painting part-time in the 1970s; her friend and fellow painter, Wellington artist Gerda Leenards, recalls venturing into the hills around the Hutt Valley with Pountney at this time, “laden with pastels and drawing boards and sometimes with our daughters in tow.”

Although Pountney continued to teach (most notably at the Correspondence School, from 1983 until her death in 2004) she also had an active career as an exhibiting artist. Pountney exhibited widely in New Zealand, with solo shows at a number of dealer galleries, and in the 1980s and 1990s her work was shown at the Dowse Art Gallery, Lower Hutt, City Gallery Wellington, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, and the Auckland Art Gallery. Pountney’s work is held in several major New Zealand collections, and her drawings were published in two books of poems by Lindsay Rabbitt, On the Line (1985) and Thewayofit (1988). Pountney died in Wellington, of Waldenstom Disease, on 30 January 2004.

City Gallery Wellington’s exhibition Jane Pountney – Wade in the Water brings together a number of Pountney’s key works, several of which have never been publicly exhibited. The works chosen for the exhibition reflect a move in Pountney’s painting, from the operatic intensity of her large canvases of the 1980s and early 1990s to the smaller and more intimate beach paintings of recent years, when the artist became entranced by figures she observed at Eastbourne, Wellington.

Curator Gregory O’Brien says: “This exhibition gives Wellington audiences a rare chance to see an exciting range of Jane's paintings – from her marvellous, almost overwhelming large canvases to the small, miraculous works of her last few years. The paintings reflect Jane's energetic, independent temperament, her real audacity with the paintbrush, and her acute sensibility for the landscapes she loved, in the Wellington region and elsewhere.”

Floortalk: Rolling Thunder

Sunday 6 November, 2pm

Join curator Gregory O'Brien and Wellington artist Gerda Leenards as they discuss Jane Pountney's work in the context of contemporary landscape art, particularly that produced by New Zealand women artists.

Jane Pountney – Wade in the Water

City Gallery Wellington

25 September – 20 November 2005

Free entry