The Chatham Islander May 2013

016.jpg "When in New Zealand I am always surprised to meet so many that have a connection with the Chathams.Artist Michael Moore is one of those people .

Michael attended St Joseph's Marist College in Masterton in the late 1960's along with David Reid whose father was the acting Island commissioner at the time.David was one of of a small contingent from the Chathams which included his older brother and the Gregory-Hunt boys.
This early connection with the Chathams resulted in Michael visiting the Island in 1996.Michael completed a series of paintings which were exhibited in Christchurch later the same year.
Still smittened with the islands, Michael returned to the Chathams in April 2012 and has recently completed a second series of Chatham Island paintings.
Michael visited many places while on the island and mentions the Tuku Reserve and  river mouth area and Hararoa Daymond's '' wonderful family homestead with its amazing bending tree'' as two that he found particularly inspiring. Michael's work also features open vistas across the island sand hills,peat areas and lagoon.
To produce a painting Michael will visit a place of interest and make dozens of drawings, pages of notes and will sometimes make a small sample painting in the field to refer back to once in the studio.
However it is memory, impressions and emotions that are the most critical aspect when producing a final art work.The result is a stunning series of paintings that not only capture the Chathams landscape but the peoples places within it.
Michael describes the Island as a place of mystery. This feeling is evident in all of his works, almost as if some of the Islands secrets are captured in the canvas.
Since his first visit in 1996 Michael has seen amazing progress in the conservation and restoration of the Chathams due to the efforts of family groups, local trusts and DOC.
While on the Island Michael had a chance to join in with some tree planting at the Ngati  Mutunga Ngati Haumia Pa Reserve dune restoration in Waitangi.So impressed  with the hands-on effort of the Chatham Island community: Michael has chosen to donate 10% of sales from his recent works to the Chathams heritage and restoration Trust (CHART)
Michael sees this second series of Chatham Island works as quite different from the first; this is perhaps down to his own evolution as an artist.He is still producing works based on his last visit and says that he is likely to return to these Faraway Islands.
''I have the feeling on the island that I could come back a dozen times and still be discovering new things.It would be one of the most intensely interesting places I have been to.''
Michael Moore's Chatham Islands paintings " The Faraway Islands' can be seen at:
CHART would like to thank Michael's generous donation.Keep an eye on the CCF newsletter for the next planting day at Ngati Mutunga Ngati Haumia Pa Reserve dune restoration in Waitangi.
Abigail Liddy on behalf of CHART 

6th June 2013

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