Feeling Blue

Location: 

New Zealand Portrait Gallery

Start date: 

29 June 2017

End date: 

24 August 2017

Hours of admission: 

10.30 - 4.30

Elizabeth McPhee, Marcus King, Oil on canvas, New Zealand Portrait Gallery Collection, Gift of Graham Coxhead on behalf of the Estate of Lorna McPhee
Elizabeth McPhee, Marcus King, Oil on canvas, New Zealand Portrait Gallery Collection, Gift of Graham Coxhead on behalf of the Estate of Lorna McPhee
The Blue Girl, 2007, Irene Ferguson, Oil on canvas, New Zealand Portrait Gallery Collection Winner, Adam Portraiture Award 2008
The Blue Girl, 2007, Irene Ferguson, Oil on canvas, New Zealand Portrait Gallery Collection Winner, Adam Portraiture Award 2008

The portraits in Feeling Blue feature blue in its expansive variety. Blue collars and blue scarves, blue skies and blue seas, a blue nose from the chill, the steely gaze of a career defining blue, blue blood wrapped in a cobalt dress, a diamond’s icy facets, blue armchairs and blue walls, the blue mood of missing a husband at sea, music — painstakingly, heart wrenchingly blue.

This exhibition brings together paintings from the New Zealand Portrait Gallery’s collection united by their blue consciousness. Blue can, as in the case of Elizabeth McPhee, serve to place one’s head in the clouds; or, as for Kayte, it can be all encompassing: a life lived in pursuit of the blues. The Blue Girl goes about her chores with the subdued blue tones of a Sunday afternoon; whereas Peter Hawes dons a blue that packs a punch. Blue may connect, or it may divide, but it is always, uniquely, at once colour and condition. 

Feeling Blue is a selection of works from the New Zealand Portrait Gallery's permanent collection in the Deane Gallery. The Deane Gallery is generously supported by Sir Roderick and Gillian Lady Deane.