The Great Race

116 Tennyson Street (upstairs), Napier, New Zealand, Napier

John Brown.

SPA_CE is pleased to present our first solo show with artist John Brown.

Conventional history asserts that Tasman, 1642-1643AD, was the first European to find New Zealand. However, ancient European skulls found at different locations around New Zealand are positive evidence that long before Tasman, Europeans not only found New Zealand but settled here too (1).

In this new series of representational paintings which amalgamates various painterly conventions, iconography, landscapes and histories, where meaning doubles itself as both tragedy and farce.

This theatrical body of work is in part inspired by my attempt to piece together my Pakeha/Greek heritage and family history, which has been fragmented through a shipwreck incident, adoption, and integration. These works hope to explore this mixed lineage through unlikely pairings of pyramids, cobras, eels’ spirit like entities, and architectural forms.

The works draw on spurious theories of Pakeha indigeneity as explored in the controversial book To the End of the Earth which makes the claim that the Greek Egyptian voyagers were the first people to visit Aotearoa New Zealand.

Through this conglomeration of influences, The Great Race seeks a conversation between artist and cultures across time in order to obtain a sense of belonging that might not be found (2).

(1) To the End of the Earth. Pg137. Maxwell.C.Hill, 2012
(2) East 2018. Hastings City Art Gallery. Curator Bruce.E.Philips

Please join us for the opening on Friday May 24th, 5-7pm, John will be in attendance. Regular gallery hours follow Wednesday-Saturday, 10-3pm.

Any enquiries, please email - or call Megan on 021500340.


Thu 20th Jun 2019, 10:00am

Fri 21st Jun 2019, 10:00am

Sat 22nd Jun 2019, 10:00am


SPA_CE Gallery, Napier, Hawke's Bay / Gisborne

116 Tennyson Street (upstairs), Napier, New Zealand, Napier