Marilynn Webb is known as one of New Zealand’s finest printmakers, and has had a huge influence on subsequent generations of artists, as senior lecturer and then Emeritus in Printmaking at the Otago Polytechnic School of Art in Dunedin.
In her pastels and hand-coloured works, Webb is able to diverge from the printmaking practice which is the focus of her teaching, and follow her individual creative path. Her pastels and prints have focused on New Zealand’s most remote and fragile environments, including Fiordland, the Maniototo hinterland, Stewart Island and the Antarctic Islands. She has several times received Department of Conservation commissions which take fine artists with empathy for the natural world to wild and seldom accessible places, and tell our hidden stories.
Marilynn Webb goes beyond mere landscape: she communicates a view of a fragile environment, a place to treasure, connections from pre-history to present day, a history of ecological and other politics layered within the landforms.
Her printmaking explores not only sense of place but also human connections – bloodlines and family, her own ancestry both Maori and of Europe, and the way we are linked to special places.
Following Webb’s touring Southern Land exhibition of monoprints, the artist has created a series of smaller, very affordable hand-coloured engravings, in which she deftly uses watercolour to evoke a season or memory, with moody shifts of colour changing the feeling completely even within the same base composition created by the engraving.
The very personal woodcut Time, on the Surface is the last of the small edition in blue, black and silver, which features a poem written for Marilynn by noted poet Cilla McQueen, about acceptance of aging. Webb cut the text in the poet’s own handwriting from an enlargement, adding to the very personal quality. The lines carry many meanings including notions of bloodlines and relationships. You can read more about this work in issue 69 of Art New Zealand. Works from Southern Land may be available on request.
We have in stock a large and striking chalk pastel from her 2003 series Going Through Fiordland, the plummeting lines of the fiords outlined in silver pastel to evoke water streaming down the cliff face, these landforms seeming to part like the curtains on a stage to reveal the secret coves of Doubtful Sound.
More About the Artist
Marilynn Webb continues to be invited to exhibit in major expositions of printmaking and graphic art throughout the world, and has shown extensively nationally and in the major cities of the world - London, Paris, New York, Berlin. In 1999 she was accorded the honour of ONZM (Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
In New Zealand in recent years she has preferred one woman or group shows of public purpose – exhibitions exploring concepts of land, ecology, politics, women in art, and history both Maori and post-colonial. She only rarely exhibits in private galleries and thus is it is a privilege to feature her work at The Diversion at Grove Mill. Here too, there is resonance, in Grove Mill’s environmental awareness and development of the natural wetland alongside the winery, now a haven for frogs and rare native species.
Please contact us to confirm current prices: most prices are posted at the time of exhibition, and may be revised as the artists’ values increase.