Collection Focus: Untitled (Rome Airport) – Joan Grehan
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Collection Focus: Untitled (Rome Airport) – Joan Grehan

Collection Focus: Untitled (Rome Airport) – Joan Grehan

Joan Grehan, ‘Untitled (Rome Airport)’ circa 1965-1975, ink on paper. Gift of the Joan Grehan Estate, 2014.

Untitled (Rome Airport) – Joan Grehan

This series looks closer at some lesser known works in the Sarjeant’s collection. Curator of Collections Jennifer Taylor Moore discusses a work on paper  by Joan Grehan.

I believe this image from the Sarjeant collection sums up how we as a nation are currently feeling while we make our way through the four week lockdown period. In her simple observational sketch of travellers waiting at Rome airport artist Joan Grehan perfectly captures the collapsed fatigue of waiting and the traveller who isn’t going anywhere. At the moment we are in a world that is arrested, waiting and hoping for the storm to pass us over. We are now in week three of lockdown and the fatigue is truly beginning to set in.

Whanganui born Grehan had an extraordinary artistic career, spending three decades living and working in various exotic locations in Europe and beyond: including Uganda, Cyprus, the south of France, and Rome where she completed this sketch. In 2014 the Joan Grehan Estate gifted a significant body of Grehan’s artistic output to the Sarjeant Gallery. The 465 items within the capsule collection include observational sketches, like this one, as well as paintings and book illustrations.

Our Gallery photographer recently completed photography of this collection and the images have been uploaded to our online collection. To read more about Joan Grehan and to view her work you can visit