McLeavey Gallery

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A Family Collection

Michael Illingworth, Richard Killeen, Gordon Walters & Olivia Spencer Bower
24 Aug – 10 Sep 2022
Natural and Unnatural Selection No.2
Richard Killeen, 1984
alkyd on aluminium, 13 pieces
A Family Collection (install view)
Olivia Spencer Bower
A Family Collection (install view)
A Family Collection (install view)
A Family Collection (install view)
A Family Collection (install view)
A Family Collection (install view)
A Family Collection (install view)

About the exhibition

A Family Collection brings together a selection of works collected by John and Tui Farrell in Wellington during the 1970s and ‘80s. Their son Kahu recalls the time in the mid-80s when Richard Killeen’s Natural and Unnatural Selection was hung. A family friend, one Peter McLeavey, came to hang it with customary precision. There, on a wall in an arts-and-crafts house on a quintessential Wellington hillside, the artwork made its home for nearly forty years.

 

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A Family Collection brings together a selection of works collected by John and Tui Farrell in Wellington during the 1970s and ‘80s. Their son Kahu recalls the time in the mid-80s when Richard Killeen’s Natural and Unnatural Selection was hung. A family friend, one Peter McLeavey, came to hang it with customary precision. There, on a wall in an arts-and-crafts house on a quintessential Wellington hillside, the artwork made its home for nearly forty years.

“My mandarins”, McLeavey called those like the Farrells from Wellington professional and public service backgrounds who bought art, talked about art, put art in their home and, in many ways, made art their home. In his professional life John Farrell worked at the NZ Securities Commission, with an almost two-decade period as Chief Executive. For a time Tui even helped select works for the Security Commission’s walls. Through purchasing works from Peter McLeavey, the Farrells supported the gallery in its early years when the number of those interested in contemporary art was far fewer.

This selection is just a taste of the collection that formed a backdrop to the Farrells’ family life for many decades. Works were purchased slowly and intuitively, leading happy coincidences and surprising and pleasing arrangements. In its variety and its colour, its jewel-like intensity and its humour, this is a family collection in the very best sense.

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Natural and Unnatural Selection No.2
Richard Killeen, 1984
alkyd on aluminum, 13 pieces
A Sense of Feeling
Richard Killeen, 1978
acrylic lacquer on aluminium, 1250 x 1250 mm (framed)
Untitled
Gordon Walters
Ink on paper, 855 x 680 mm (framed)
Gouache 16:5:55
Gordon Walters, 1955
Gouache on paper, 500 x 550 mm (framed)
Personage
Michael Illingworth, 1978
1000 x 700 mm (framed), Ink and gouache on paper
Wheels, Suffolk
Olivia Spencer Bower, 1963
Watercolour on paper, 680 x 830 mm (framed)

Artist

Richard Killeen

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Richard Killeen & Robin White
Richard Killeen & Robin White

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