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In 1957 Trevor won the Rosa Sawtell Life painting prize and in 1961 held his first exhibition at the Anderson Park Gallery. In 1962 Moffitt began his Gold ...
In 1957 Trevor won the Rosa Sawtell Life painting prize and in 1961 held his first exhibition at the Anderson Park Gallery. In 1962 Moffitt began his Goldminer series, which although largely unheralded, formed the beginnings of significant series of figurative New Zealand paintings. While Russell Clarke’s paintings of rural Maori were notable, Goldie’s outstanding paintings essentially remained portraits, and Lois Whites figurative studies were mainly concerned with biblical and allegorical narratives – Moffitts paintings tend to strike a familiar note with every New Zealander. His figurative narratives beginning with the Miner series eventually extended to the McKenzie series, My Father series, Stanley Graham, Hokonui and the “no holds barred” Human Condition series.
My Daughters Wedding from the My Father series (Trevor’s sisters wedding) is a typical example from this outstanding series of paintings, which documented Trevor’s father, Bert Moffitt’s life. The first paintings exhibited in 1979 at the Brook Gifford Gallery in Christchurch were probably the first of his works to gain positive reviews. Neil Rowe in the Wellington Evening Post wrote “Moffitt has over many years been painting in a historical narrative of life in this country. Myth-making is the name of Moffit’s game…his most recent series…My Fathers life….is a continuation of his attempt to come to terms with his own background and antecedents. This is perhaps Moffitt’s most successful body of work to date in which he creates a kind of kiwi everyman whose life, every born and bred New Zealander will relate to.” Other positive reviews followed including sales to the Robert McDougall Gallery and the Ministry of Foreign affairs. In the same year Moffitt was awarded an arts council grant to complete the series. It is said great art is born out of adversity and the series was painted not only following his fathers death in 1978, but also during his much loved wife’s long battle with illness. Alison Moffitt died in 1981, which also coincided with the end of the My Father series.
(1936-2006) Born Gore, Southland
1959 University of Canterbury, Dip. FA (honours)
1958 Auckland Teachers Training College
1955 – 1957 Ilam School of Fine Art
1997 – 1998 Human Condition series III
1997 Hokanui Moonshine series
1994 – 1995 Human Condition series II
1993 – 1994 Human Condition series I
1991 Begins Canterbury Paddock series
1987 Retires from teaching to become fulltime painter
1986 Begins Stanley Graham series
1985 Artist as a solo father series
1983 Work included in Six Figurative Painters, Bishop Suter Gallery, Nelson
1981 Begins Rakaia River series
1970-1980 Works on My Fater series and Human Condition series I
1968 Begins Fisherman series
1962 Begins McKenzie series
1959 Begins Goldminer series
1989 Freezing Works series 26 paintings Amsterdamn, The Netherlands
Selected Bibliography & Publications
100 New Zealand Painters’, Warwick Brown
‘Lands and Deeds’ Greg O’Brien, Godwit Press, 1996
Auckland Art Gallery, Aigantighe, Anderson Park, Dowse, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Forrester, Eastern Southland Art Gallery, Hawke’s Bay Museum, Hocken Library, Manawatu Art Gallery, McDougall, Rotorua Museum, Sarjeant, Suter and Te Papa Tongarewa