Freeman White is known for his remarkable oil paintings, which capture the beauty of the landscapes and coastline in Aotearoa. In this newest series of work entitled Deep Blue, White brings his signature ability to capture an awe and respect for the beauty and power of nature to a new landscape, Te Waipounamu South Island.
White captures the initial feelings of awe and discovery for these serene vistas on his plein air painting trips to the South Island. The artist then uses his studies as reference material to create his stunningly realistic oil paintings back in his studio in Ahuriri Napier. His work immediately transports us to these breathtaking landscapes that we periodically visit throughout our lives, reconnecting us intentionally with the land through the artist’s own perspective.
While the artist is inspired by Aotearoa’s longstanding art history of landscape painting, his subject matter is very much a contemporary account of New Zealand’s current environmental climate. His painting acting as an accurate documentation of both the beauty of Aotearoa and the current impact of civilization on our land; a purposeful juxtaposition to the often romantic and idealized versions of New Zealand depicted throughout art history.
In this series of paintings, White notes a sense of duty to capture the essence of Aotearoa’s best-known landmarks such as Mitre Peak Rahotu and Pikirakatahi Mount Earnslaw in Glenorchy, to reinterpret them as he sees them now. His work considers our nation’s cultural identity and relationship to the land, and “what it is that makes us, us.”
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