What they didn’t teach us at school – Clayton Gibson


Dates: 22/07/23 - 17/09/23
Opening: 21/07/23 5:30 pm

My oil paintings express my personal articulation of the realities of the human condition. I am profoundly aware of the relationship between human beings and their environment. Utilising this awareness, I have selected and painted pivotal and recognisable events in our history which were not taught to us in school during the 1960s and 70s. Events that by not being taught, influenced our thinking at the time and our concept of our nation’s history.

I have used a limited palette and simplified figurative work to create powerful and evocative subject matter. The events and images that I have painted all reflect my understanding of pūrākau read or told to me, my observations, of local landscape and my thoughts about historical events. I have woven the paintings into a complex web of stories that stretch over a wide period of history from the arrival of Captain Cook in 1769 to today.

My paintings combine a tension and personal narrative centred on social issues in Aotearoa history and the socio-political world of the distinctly Aotearoa social and political landscape. In my work I emphasise my vision of an Aotearoa identity.