MY CHOICE: Stanley Fraser / October 2022
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MY CHOICE: Stanley Fraser / October 2022

October 2022: Stanley Fraser

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 October 2022 My Choice has been selected by Stanley Fraser and is available to view until 31 October, 2022.

Stanley Fraser hails from an agricultural background with a passion for heritage. He is a Chartered Accountant based in Ohakune working for Ātihau Whanganui Incorporation as well as working on his family’s sheep and beef farm.

He supports his agricultural and heritage passions by involvement with New Zealand Young Farmers, the Manawatu Vintage Machinery Club and he is a Joint Council Trustee of the Whanganui Regional Museum. He has a keen sense of adventure and love of history and learning.

Stan’s Choices:

Jimsie C. Fraser, “Sunset Hour” Wanganui River, c. 1900, 2021/11/8

“When I first saw this painting, it reminded me of Pipiriki and the bluff across from the jetty.

I was instantly taken to my memories of swimming in the awa when I was about 10. Determined to swim across, my brother and I found a large poplar branch and were on our way, only to decide around the half-way mark, that this was taking too long, so we swam back to the wharf.”

Alfred Martin, Artist;  Frank Denton, Printer; Ladder, Whanganui River, c. 1895, 1997/10/7

“I have always been fascinated by this photograph. It is only when passing through this section of the awa, near the confluence of the Manganui o te Ao River, that you really appreciate the sheer scale of the cliffs though this area; let alone appreciate the ingenuity of the karewau ladders that were constructed to climb them.

It is amazing to think of the journeys made in a waka like this. A tourist guidebook from 1897 described the great pace of traveling on the awa; Two miles an hour upstream and four miles an hour downstream.”

Roland Searle, The Waione, c. 1930, 1987/12/12

“There is no denying that transport on the awa changed dramatically with the advent of the riverboats. The new way of travelling opened this slice of paradise to a whole new world. With the benefit of hindsight, we now understand the implications, both good and bad, that this development has had.

This photograph appears to be an excursion up river to somewhere like Hipango park. I feel as if I’m there, standing at the top of down the riverbank, making my way down to get back on board. This reminds me of simpler times, where community was important and such a trip would be looked forward to with much excitement.

The Ohura (left) and Waione (Right) are two of the well-known riverboats part of Hatrick’s fleet; used to ferry tourists, livestock, wool and produce up and down the river. The Ohura had an unfortunate accident in May 1940 where it overturned on the Ngaporo Rapid while carrying livestock. Three lives were lost. After the recovery it was used a gravel barge. The Waione was also retired from service in the 1950s and was also converted to a barge. Both are at rest near the Cobham bridge.”

Edith Collier, Landscape with Sheep, c. 1930, 1985/6/3

“This landscape connects directly to my rural background and upbringing.  Instantly, I feel as if I am about to muster this small mob with one of the old farm dogs. Being a member of Marton Young Farmers Club, it’s a rather nice coincidence this landscape is from the area.

It’s rather unfortunate about the way Edith Collier’s more ‘modernistic’ art was received when she returned from Europe after World War one, but I guess someone had to pave the way. We really are fortunate that the Sarjeant is the custodian of the Edith Collier Trust collection for our community. (To find out more I’d really suggest watching the documentary Edith Collier: A Light Among Shadows).”

Ted Lewis, Stone crushers, 1978, 2005/11/1

“Stone crushers really intrigues my vintage machinery interest or ‘old iron disease’.  Ted Lewis has cast light on a relic of the past, aged with rust and years of neglect.

Before the introduction of reliable electricity, every workshop, factory, woolshed, sawmill or industrial business had various pulleys, sprockets and line shafts, such as this. They were connected by large belts harnessing the power of a waterwheel, steam or stationary engine.

As time passes, more and more of these old machines are either scrapped or repurposed. But as a restorer, it is great to see people preserving our industrial heritage.

I wonder what ever happened to this old crusher?”

Otakar Valasek, Why Are We At War?, 1917, 1918/2/21

“A simple question, with a complicated answer. Despite being over a century old, I found this illustration very poignant given the current conflicts in our world today. It hard to comprehend the experiences faced by my Great Grandfather and Grandfather serving as ANZAC soldiers in the respective World Wars. We can only be grateful we have not had to encounter the full cost here at home in our lifetime.

As they say History never repeats.”

Past Exhibitions 2022