Herb Foley was born in England in 1935 and studied at the Liverpool College of Art prior to his arrival in New Zealand in 1973. Foley has painted, exhibite ...
Herb Foley was born in England in 1935 and studied at the Liverpool College of Art prior to his arrival in New Zealand in 1973.
Foley has painted, exhibited and taught art all his life . Now well into his retirement , he still paints daily at eighty-one years of age.
I have been involved in Art all my life. My math teacher told me I would end up on the end of a brush ie sweeping the roads, a worthy occupation, looking after the environment, and so I have.
I have nearly always worked from my environment using the pattern and shapes it contains, abstracting and simplifying, trying to make a painting.
After the Christchurch earthquake we moved to Kerikeri and rented a house in the bush. It was wonderful!
Paul Klee said we cannot invent better shapes than are found in nature.. …or something like that.
I wanted to paint bush, squares of bush as I call them with every shape that was there, and yet they must work as a painting. I wanted to exclude gimmicks, devices, pretense and try to make the painting work. I feel a painting works when some innate feeling says it’s not too bad. When I paint I don’t think in words. There is no message in the painting and yet I feel I paint the most important subject matter there is… without it there is nothing.
I feel “a painting is a painting is a painting” to misquote Gertrude Stein, and writing screeds about a tin on a shelf, bores me to death…and leaves a tin on a shelf.
Taught Art in England and Canada from 1964
Senior Art Lecturer in Auckland until move to Christchurch in 1995
First Solo exhibition Canada 1972
Regular Exhibitions in Auckland and Christchurch since 1976
Work is held in both public and private collections in England, Wales, Canada, America, Australia and New Zealand