MY CHOICE: Marie McKay / December 2022
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MY CHOICE: Marie McKay / December 2022

December 2022: Marie McKay

Each month a member of our community is invited to browse our online collection and select six of their favourite artworks. Each My Choice selection, together with personal responses to the works, will be available to view on the Sarjeant Gallery website for one month at a time. The December 2022 My Choice has been selected by Marie McKay and is available to view until 31 December, 2022.

Marie McKay is from Whanganui but spent most of her childhood in West Auckland before returning in the 1980s. She is the Secretary of Aotea Utanganui – Museum of South Taranaki in Pātea, which is nearing the end the construction of a new exhibition and workshop space designed by Patchwork Architecture. Alongside this, she is the Chair of Whanganui Arts at the Centre and was previously on the Board of the Whanganui Regional Museum between 2011-2020. In the early 2000s, she co-founded Whanganui Artists’ Guild (WAG) which published the quarterly arts newsletter – FRISKY. She currently works at Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry for Māori Development and, in her spare time, she enjoys gardening, spending time with family and her dog.

See Marie’s selections below:

Marie’s Choices:

Rosa Bonheur, The Returned Relay, 1889 (1949/2/1)

“I don’t have anything erudite to say about this painting. As a child I loved horses more than anything. When my family came to visit my grandmother in the school holidays, driving all the way from West Auckland with five of us packed into a Morris Minor convertible, we nearly always went to visit Uncle Jim (James Alp) at the Sarjeant. It was torture, which was only relieved by seeing this beautiful painting. It must have been a favourite because it always seemed to be on display.”

Philip Clairmont, The Clothesline (in a Canterbury Nor’wester), 1973 (1975/4/1)

“Wild like the Nor-wester is wild and like the artist was wild – this expression of energy and chaos makes me wonder at the immense talent and uniqueness of Clairmont, at that time, in the history of New Zealand art. He’s amazing.”

Derwent Lees, Portrait of a Lady in a Landscape, c. 1910-1914 (1964/3/2)

“The landscape reminds me of Central Otago where the rocks are fearsome and beautiful – like the strong woman in this portrait, hand on her hip and looking away. This painting resonates because the woman looks like she wants to be somewhere else, doing something else – not standing around being a lady.”

Richard Orjis, Garden Cities of Tomorrow, 2014 (2015/5/1)

“Like Richard, I really like plants and gardens and trees and flowers. I like Richard too and I really like the art he makes.”

Gretchen Albrecht, Court (Tristan and Iseult Panels) No. 5, 1978 (1980/12/5)

It’s hard to choose a single work by Gretchen Albrecht but this painting is such a warm and sensuous depiction of the 12th century story of illicit love between Tristan and Iseult – and I really loved the stories of that time as a child.”

Erica van Zon, Gonville Arches, 2017 (2018/2/1)

“It’s annoying. I have spent a lot of time in Gonville – but do I know where these arches are? No.

Honestly – does Gonville really even have arches? My mind has been marching through the streets trying to find them, trying to remember. The Church – no; the swimming pool – no; the Lodge – I don’t think so. They are definitely not at the strip mall.

Wait – are they in Tawa Street? By the Op Shop?”

Past Exhibitions 2022