Building Bridges on canvas

One of NZ’s most respected Maori artists and pioneer of indigenous art in schools, John Bevan Ford, has died aged 75 from cancer. While tremendously skilled in traditional Maori wood carving, Ford is best perhaps known for his striking linear paintings using a mixture of coloured inks, acrylics, graphite and pastels. He was the first NZ artist to present his work at a series of guest lectures at New York’s Metropolitan Museum in 1990. In 1998, he was artist in residence at the British Museum’s Maori Art exhibition. He has created major sculptures for the Chinese cities of Chang-chun and Beijing and his works feature in the collections of numerous galleries throughout Britain, Holland, Germany, Australia and NZ. Guardian: “Highly responsive both to nature and to symbolism, [Ford] readily absorbed motifs and symbols from other cultures. Much of his art was concerned with making bridges: between the past and the present, between different cultures and peoples.”

John Bevan Ford: 1930 – September 16 2005

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