Declarations of personal interests to temper your reactions to this post.
1. I am proud to be an educator in, and advocate for, the New Zealand State School System, as founded by Beeby (influenced by Dewey) during the first Labour Government in the late 1930s.
2. Through marriage I am proud of my family relationship with Russell Clark and his work.
As illustrator for theand , Russell Clark’s art became part of New Zealanders’ daily lives from the 1940s to 1970s.
Clark attended Canterbury College School of Art, in Christchurch from 1922 to 1928,... It was as a painter and sculptor that Clark contributed to an emerging Modernist movement in Post-War New Zealand.
In 1944 he was appointed Pacific War Artist by the New Zealand government, and this experience in Polynesia and Melanesia stimulated his inquiry into Māori art and culture, culminating in the series (1949-1951). Ironically, these works also reveal the influence of British artists Henry Moore and Barabara Hepworth, particularly in the use of stylised monumental forms which in turn were influenced by Pre-Columbian and African art.
In 1947 he was appointed to the staff at Canterbury University College School of Art. Although criticised for his eclecticism, Clark’s association with 'The Group' and his series highlight his important contribution to New Zealand’s cultural development.