1977, Acrylic on paper, Length 10.7m, Height 2.18m
A cross section of South Canterbury
This mural is laid out like a map – the Canterbury Plains on the left, foothills in the centre, and the mountains on the right. A seasonal gradation also exists across the mural, with summer plains on the left merging to autumn greens, and winter snows on the right.
Most of the individual pictures were painted on location. Often, twenty or so pieces of paper were clipped to a board and taken several thousand feet up a mountainside where quick drying acrylic paints were used to render the hastily changing light effects. Frequently John was trying to hold those papers in a howling nor’wester, or suffering from frozen toes standing in snow, or being bombed by fertilizer dropped from a topdressing aircraft.
The colours in this mural were mixed from four tubes of paint – red, yellow, blue, and white. These landscapes are predominantly greys of the primary colours mixed with complementary colours.
No prints were made of this mural, as John lacked print making facilities in the family’s temporary accommodations. Many individual paintings exist which are not included in the mural.
Series also includes: