Herb Foley has recently moved to Kerikeri from Christchurch, with his wife . The two paintings in Kaan Zamaan were done since arriving in Northland.
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 the of 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 painitings have been described as a “paean to nature” and a “joyous celebration …lovingly painted (with ) …the qualities of icons.