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Seaside Window 1100 x 960mm

Evening East Coast Northland 1310 x 890mm

Neil Driver New Works PREVIEW: TUESDAY 12 AUGUST 5.30PM Exhibition: 12 August – 26 August 2014 Neil Driver was born and raised in Dunedin and moved to Central Otago in 1975. It is from this landscape, with its magical light and open spaces, that he derives his inspiration. Remote Northland coastlines also features in his upcoming show, with tranquil bays and islands inviting us in.

Lemons and Confit Pot 1090 x 880 mm

From landscape to still life, Driver’s work evokes serenity and contemplation. Through considered use of light and shadow his paintings are invested with a sense of stillness and calm that gives his work a timeless quality. Painting in a combination of traditional and contemporary styles that is uniquely his own, Driver depicts the details that may be overlooked in everyday life. This gifted artist brings life to the simplest of objects such as a rumpled sheet, a rustic chair or a bowl of fruit. Whether an empty beach through a window frame as in “Seaside Window” or a view across the deck to gleaming sea beyond in “Evening East Coast Northland”, a hint of surrealism pervades his work. In “Chair by Open Window” a swirling curtain catches the breeze in some quiet corner —humans are absent from Driver’s paintings, but their presence can be intensely felt through open doors and empty chairs. In Driver’s still life paintings we can sense the human presence in tenderly rendered surfaces of well-used vessels. “Lemons and Confit Pot” is an example of the classical consideration given to arrangments of familiar objects. Different textures are beautifully balanced, the glaze of pottery juxtaposed with fresh, luminous fruit and sparkling glass. The compositions are set against uninterrupted walls, compelling the viewer to pause in contemplation of the surfaces and filtered lighting that are a feature of these works.

Chair by Open Window 900 x 790mm

Driver works up his paintings with layers of transparent acrylic paint on board, slowly building up colour and tone to give each painting its unique ambience. Driver has been exhibiting in New Zealand since 1975. His works are in private collections worldwide and in public collections at the Hocken Library, Department of Foreign Affairs, Bank of New Zealand and State Services Commission.

263 Parnell Road, Auckland 09 377 3133

Sea and Bed 900 x 820mm

Profile for Verve Magazine

Verve August 2014  

Verve August 2014