Whole Gallery

22 January – 3 February

'Small Wonders' - Leonard Lambert

Enchanting works from the world of Myth & Dream


In his painting, as in his poetry, Leonard Lambert’s sole focus and concern is Beauty, a humble and almost forgotten word in the so-called ‘art’ of these times. His haunting, small-scale paintings take the viewer into another, older world of mystery & imagination.


But to label these paintings as ‘otherworldly’ would be to do them a disservice.  As every painter works from where he is with what he’s got, viewers will frequently discover a recognizably Hawke’s Bay landscape which has ‘magically’ become the setting of some mysterious incident or story.


The invitation is to imagine what that incident or story might be, to ‘enter’ the painting…

Artist Bio:

Leonard Lambert (1945-)


The twin careers of Leonard Lambert were effectively launched in 1975 when he exhibited at an obscure Christchurch gallery and was noticed by a leading critic of the time, T.L. Rodney Wilson; and when the first poem he could truly call his own, “A Washday Romance”, was
published in the NZ Listener.

From there, the poetry developed in silence, and very slowly. But the painting took off, leading in 1980 to a finals berth in the biggie of the day, the Benson & Hedges Art Award, and the purchase by the City of Napier of the selected work, “The Mystery of Bird Unravelled.”

Also around that time poet Brian Turner, then editor at John McIndoe Ltd, agreed to a first collection, and “A Washday Romance” was published in 1980. That year too the family shifted from Greymouth to Napier and Leonard continued to write slowly, paint fast, and exhibit everywhere. Numerous provincial awards followed, capped in 1985 with a Second in the prestigious Montana Art Award.  In the late 80s he began to focus more and more on his poetry.1990 saw a move to Tauranga and the publication of his second collection, “Park Island’”. Paintings begin to reappear in the late 90s, but sporadically and with little drive or direction. Similarly with the poems: these were so thin on the ground that it wasn’t until 2004 – 14 years after Park Island – that HeadworX published his third collection, “Natural Anthem”.

At the launch of this volume he met the poet and painter, Jan FitzGerald, fell in love, and in 2007 moved with Jan back ‘home’ to Napier. The result has been four new books and a new lease of life for the painter.

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