Tony Fomison spoke of his intention to make an ‘apocalyptic’ history painting for New Zealand, asserting a Māori presence on the often bare hills of New Zealand’s painting tradition. This imagined scene depicts three sets of figures among a landscape of cliffs and caves. The painting’s perspective is
constructed from within the caves, looking out into sunlight. The scene borrows heavily from a folder of clippings Fomison kept of images from sites where rock drawings had been found. In his early twenties, Fomison did formative archaeological work studying the Māori rock drawings of South Canterbury.
Despite its lack of specificity, this painting comes close to creating a mythic analogy to his study of Māori pre-history. The composition is powerfully attuned to the psychology of the figures, who are consumed by landscape.
- Not just a picnic
- Production date
- epoxy on hessian on pinex board
- 1210 x 1800 mm
- Credit line
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Friends of the Auckland Art Gallery, 1982
- Accession no
- Copying restrictions apply
- New Zealand Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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