Collection Focus: Untitled (Loaf and loaf tin), Vivian Smith
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Collection Focus: Untitled (Loaf and loaf tin), Vivian Smith

Collection Focus: Untitled (Loaf and loaf tin), Vivian Smith

Attributed to Vivian Smith, Untitled (loaf and loaf tin), conte crayon on paper, 1988/27/189, Collection of Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua. Gift of Lillian Smith.

Untitled (Loaf and loaf tin) – Vivian Smith

In the first of this series of closer looks at some lesser known works in the Sarjeant’s collection, Gallery Registrar Te Maari Barham discusses a work on paper by Vivian Smith.

When New Zealand went into lockdown I, like many others, joined the isolation trend and began making a sourdough starter. It seems that for some, the lockdown has ignited a desire to return to a simpler, back to basics way of life.

As well as precisely feeding my sourdough starter each morning the lockdown has also given me time to discover lesser known works in the Sarjeant collection. Among them is Untitled (loaf and loaf tin), attributed to Vivian Smith. This line drawing is quiet and unassuming in its simplicity and seemed an appropriate work to share as the Government urges us to stay at home. The rustic tin and loaf of freshly baked bread echoes the simple lifestyle many of us have chosen to embrace in these uncertain times.

Born in Sheffield, England, artist Vivian Smith trained in London at the Royal College of Art before emigrating to New Zealand in 1913. His fine art training in life drawing and portraiture can be seen in the large collection of his works, as well as the Smith family archive, housed at the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua. The works are available to view online via the Explore the Collection online portal