Whole Gallery

7 August – 19 August

'Retrospective' - Angus Walker

Angus Walker was born in Hastings in 1982. His family moved from Hastings to Waipukurau in 1985. Walker attended Terrace School in Waipukurau. Hereworth School in Havelock North was his home away from home for two years from age ten where he was lucky enough to be taught by Hawkes Bay artist Jane Gray. Walker then attended Whanganui Collegiate School where his interest in modern art continued, particularly he became fascinated with the life and work of Pablo Picasso.

In 1998 he sold his first painting at Electra Gallery in Waipukurau. The second painting was sold that year to Peter Jackson, who had at that time secured the rights to ‘The Lord of the Rings’. This early success encouraged Walker to produce his first solo show at Hastings Community Arts Centre in 1999. Hawke's Bay artist Bev Blogg was the gallery manager at the time and really helped introduce the artist to the process of curating a show.

In 2000 Walker did a gap year in England where he took the opportunity to visit major galleries in London and all around Western Europe on a Contiki Tour. In 2001 Walker was accepted to attend Elam School of Fine Art at the University of Auckland. During the completion of this four year degree Walker was tutored by a number of high profile New Zealand contemporary artists; Simon Shepheard, Judy Miller, Chris Heaphy, Michael Parakowhai, Fiona Pardington, Jim Speers and Peter Robinson.

While cleaning floors at the art school as a part time job, Walker met prominent New Zealand painter Max Gimblett who was the artist in residence. Max and Angus became lifelong friends. Max’s influence can be seen in a number of the more gestural works in this show, and his fascination with Buddhism really began around this time.

Walker continued to exhibit after art school; Thistle Hall, Emerge Gallery, LeSa, Visual Culture and Cecil Veda in Wellington, Black Barn, Wine Country Gallery in Havelock North. In Auckland Walker has shown at Monterey 2 Gallery, Morgan Street Gallery, and Foenander Galleries. Quay Gallery in Napier represented Walker for over a decade, and Richard Meyers and Sue Shaare are dear friends of the artist, and really nurtured the artist during his formative years.

In Waikato Lyn Chapman and Lynden Earl took a chance on Walker a few years before the pandemic with three solo shows at Aesthete Gallery, and Walker was lucky enough to show with Colin McCahon, Ralph Hotere, Alan Maddox and Max Gimblett in group shows, a dream come true for the artist.

This show at Hastings Community Arts Centre represents a return for Angus to where he had his first solo show twenty-four years ago. ‘Retrospective’ can be seen as a map of his development over the years and a reflection on the importance of determination.

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