Christchurch Earthquake Valuable Don Binney Painting Donated

Valuable Painting Is Donated To Christchurch Earthquake Appeal
Update Painting Sells for $270,000. In the last week of March, 2011, this Don Binney  painting sold for $270,000 at auction,  the proceeds of which will go to the recovery mission in Christchurch.

Mark Sainsbury first  interviewd Dick Scott  about this donated painting on “Close-Up’ a couple of weeks ago.  I didn’t catch the name of the church in the painting at the time:  Someone told me it was Ruatoria, which is not the case. The Weekend Herald, in an interview of Dick Scott by Michele Hewitson,  Sat 2 April, 2011, has given us the title of the painting, which  I have added  to this article.

A wonderfully generous gesture has just been made by the New Zealand writer Dick Scott.   He has donated a valuable painting, one which has been in his private collection for nearly 50  years,  to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.
This painting is one by the NZ Bird Painter Extraordinaire, Don Binney.  This contemporary piece of New Zealand art is entitled “Kotare Over The Ratana Church” The Ratana religion has great historical significance to the Maori people of New Zealand. The words Arepa and Omoka are written on the painting, though I cannot tell you what these Maori words mean at this stage.
The painting is one of few  Binneys which remain in private collections, so it is expected that when it goes up for auction tomorrow, 23 March 2011, at Webb’s auction rooms in Newmarket,  Auckland, it will fetch a handsome sum .  This could be somewhere between  two to three hundred thousand dollars.

Dick Scott, the donator of this beautiful Don Binney painting,  appeared tonight , with his lovely wife, on TVNZ1 ‘Close Up’, hosted by Mark Sainsbury. When asked about giving such a valuable gift to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, he rather understated the value of his gift, and its purpose, by saying that the “Christchurch people had had it hard lately, and that it was good to help them out a bit”.  “When you are ninety, you can do anything”, he said.

I am sure that Christchuch people will be very grateful, and  that we can look forward to the Mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker, having something good to say about this..

Don Binney was born in 1940 in Auckland.  He went to the Auckland University School of Fine Arts, Elam, from 1958 to 1961. He taught there at a later date, and stayed there until he retired. Apparently, he loved his teaching job so much that he never wanted to leave……

Don Binney was supportive of the arts and artists in New Zealand, mainly because of his teaching role at Elam School of Fine Arts, but his stint as President of the New Zealand Society of Sculptors and Painters, which was from 1974 to 1976, is an indication of his dedication to the arts.
In 1963 he held his first one-man show, and he quickly began to make a name for himself on the art scene in New Zealand.
Since  the 1963 exhibition, Binney’s paintings  have characteristically featured birds in a New Zealand landscape.

His style has been described as  ‘programmatic’ , with  strong linear shapes, the form being characteristically and  clearly defined by a black outline. His paintings have the subject, usually a bird featured on its flat surface, much like a Chinese print, with no perspective drawn into the picture except for the contrast of the landscape behind.  The bold form in the foreground makes an impact because of the contrast of the landscape or seascape in the background.

These wonderful Binney birds are recognizable to anyone, anywhere in New Zealand, but they have a universal appeal.
His bird paintings  have featured in magazines, in books, and on postcards. picture.

Binney’s style has been compared to the flat, linear surface of the style of engraving which was popular in the late 18th century.  Don Binney’s ‘Poe-Bird’ is an example of a work which actually had its roots in an engraving.  Binney’s ‘Poe-Bird’ pictures a tui, a New Zealand native bird,  over a coastline in the rear:  This idea comes from an engraving by George Forster, one which was used in the 1777 book on James Cooks’ second voyage to New Zealand:  This is pictured in Gil Docking’s book, Two Hundred Years of New Zealand Painting, 1971, 1975, 1980, published by A.W. and A.H. Reed, Wellington, New Zealand.

This painting is a fabulous gift from writer Dick Scott.  It will be on display all day tomorrow at Webb’s in Newmarket, and it will be auctioned off tomorrow night.


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