In 2009 Phyllis Underdown was recognised as a Life Member of the Tairāwhiti Museum for her significant contribution to the arts in Gisborne as an artist, teacher and advocate.
I have enjoyed drawing and painting since my childhood in Wellington, but this exhibition is of works that I have completed since my arrival in Gisborne in 1954. In that time, many have been sold, given away or destroyed. So here I am showing paintings and etchings I still own and a handful owned by family and friends.
The paintings are a statement of self and environment, who I am and where I am, things I know and things I love. From the rolling hills that surround us here in Gisborne to the nearby road to Sponge Bay and waters of our bays. I paint my garden and inside my house, but closer still I paint my family and friends.