Herb Foley | Paint On Paint

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Herb Foley and his wife Nesta moved to Kerikeri,  when their home was  rendered uninhabitable after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

The paintings in Herb’s 2013 exhibition ” Adsum” ( I am here ) was the result of two years work, his first major body of work since the move north. Foley has now put the finishing touches to the twelve large paintings he is featuring at his upcoming show Paint on Paint, which opens Friday 31 July, 4 — 6pm.

There is a joyfulness in Herb’s new collection, his work includes scenes from Northland bush and undergrowth that are vibrant, colourful and energetic. Foley admires German painter Gerhard Richter’s abstract paintings, and he is trying to achieve the same impact and strength in his new semi abstract/figurative paintings.

Warren Feeney wrote in Art New Zealand : “Herb’s paintings of the natural environment and its ecosystems belong to an enduring iconography in New Zealand art, that has remained of interest to artists for nearly 250 years. The journals of Captain Cook, Joseph Banks and Sydney Parkinson revealed a scientific and philosophical admiration for the native plants and geology of the country that reflected Rousseau’s belief in an uncivilised natural landscape and its potential for the redemption of civilised humanity.  

As an artist who travelled extensively prior to settling in New Zealand in 1973, Foley shares something of the wonder and perceptions of artists such as Parkinson and Sharpe, coming to a new land and experiencing, for the first time, the Pacific light and its environment. Over the past 20 years he has exhibited a series of paintings of Pacific plants and creatures that have similarly invited associations with the spiritual and metaphysical . Foley’s paintings have been described as a “paean to nature” and a “joyous celebration, lovingly painted with the qualities of icons.”

TJ McNamara said of Foley’s past works “ the images are complex patterns of life. Each painting moves from the undergrowth to the treetops…The undergrowth is populated by creatures, all painted with great subtlety and interwoven so the eye makes small discoveries everywhere. The work is a huge metaphor of modern life filled with speculation – not of the wonder of life but of the inexplicable problems of art, science and existence.”

Here is  a little preview of some of the 12 new canvases to be exhibited, sizes range from 1020mmx770mm, 1020mmx1020mm to the largest 1200x1020mm.

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Alongside it, other artists work can be seen in the stockroom and surrounding small display areas. New paintings by Richard Adams, and many other artists including Minhal Al Halabi, Jay  & MariaLloyd, Andy Cogar, Daniel Unverricht, Graham Ambrose, Herb Foley, Scott McFarlane, Liz McAuliffe, Beverley Cox, Ludek Adamek, Lee Brogan, Rob Anderson, Fran Leitch and others.

Winter hours commence after July 5th. Open Tuesday — Friday 9 — 5pm, Sunday 9-12pm.

Now closed Monday & Saturday until Labour weekend.


View our video of the ANZAC exhibition , which has now ended. Some remaining works are still exhibited including Scott McFarlane’s gorgeous installation.

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Call 021 1634478 to view by appointment outside gallery  hours.

For framing consultations, SHARP FRAMES is open Tuesday — Friday 9am — 5pm.


Our fundraiser last year was “WE CARE” . Some artwork from this exhibition is still in stock, so we continue to raise money for the desparate children of Gaza, as the works sell.

The total amount raised so far is just over $12 780 !  $12 480 has been passed on to Kia Ora Gaza, to help with medical supplies for Gaza. THANK YOU everyone for your generosity, it was an AMAZING effort, let’s hope we bring just a little relief to some of these desparate children’s lives. Some $300 went to Save The Children.

A view of the opening night, thank you Sophi for the video.


In the reception area there is a wide selection of  art by  Laurence Aberhart , Richard Adamas, Ludek Adamek, Rob Anderson,Minhal Al Halabi, Lee Brogan, Herb Foley, Scott McFarlane, Rachel Miller, Fran Leitch, John Papas, Bill Snider, Kathy Shaw Urlich , Sally Bristow, MTK , Sue Foster , Rich Hewson, Dulcie Draper, Marlene Robert, Marie Powell, Chris Wilkie and others. Works on paper, prints & reproductions are available to see in the framing reception, we have a huge variety of art in the stockroom so feel free to ask to see more, if you can’t see what you want on display.