Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000

Lot Description

NOT BAD EH! THE WORK OF JANE BRENKLEY .JANE BRENKLEY FOLK ART DIORAMA MAORI PA, My first ever contact with the work of Jane Brenkley was a visit to the Gunson Street studio Tony Fomison in the mid-1970s. There, right next to the main studio easel was a delightful carved and painted occasional table, the repository for the artist's key life support systems. That table was the work of self-taught artist Jane Brenkley found and purchased by Fomison in what he called ''The Golden Age of Flea Markets''. . After Fomison’s death in 1990 the table was used in an important survey of New Zealand folk art entitled ‘NOT BAD EH! along with some other Brenkley works that were exhibited at various institutions around the North Island including the Dowse Art Museum, the Rotorua Museum of Art and History and the Auckland Museum. A successful solo exhibition of her work was held at the at the Hawkes Bay Art Gallery and Museum near the end of last century. Jane Brenkley was a stand out woman artist about whom little was known in metropolitan art circles, but in the lower eastern side of the North Island she was quite well known and was held in high esteem. That a collection of this magnitude should come on to the market in one auction event should register around 8.5 on the cultural Richter scale... That Ngaire Hart has amassed this large and extensive collection of this unique woman artist's work is testimony to her zealous approach as a collector who had clear vision and foresight to collect for her pleasure and enjoyment the unique work of Jane Brenkley. With the recent passing of Ngaire Hart this mammoth collection is now to be spread far and wide for a much larger audience of public institutions and private collectors to savour and enjoy. John Perry Former Director of the Rotorua Museum of Art and History. LOT 57: AN EARLY JANE BRENKLEY FOLK ART DIORAMA, depicting a Maori hillside pa with warrior figures behind figural palisades and standing on an elevated platform hailing two figures standing below in a waka; with painted whares and figures in the background. Beech bentwood case with glazed sloping front. Signed and dated 1939. 320 x 420 x 280mm. The arched diorama, dated 1939, is one of the finest pieces by Brenkley to be offered at auction. The glass fronted display is in excellent condition and shows a Maori pa complete with whares, elaborate protective palisades and an approaching canoe whose figures appear to be friend and not foe. The interior of the diorama contains over twenty-five individually carved and painted figures and buildings. Brenkley was a noted exhibitor at the New Zealand Centennial Exhibition which ran from November 1939 to April 1940 and an item of this detail and ambition quite likely traces its provenance to this important cultural event.