Artist in Residence

Dean Buchanan

Auckland artist inspired by the South Island landscape

A love of the South Island landscape inspired prominent Auckland artist Dean Buchanan (59) to take up a four week ‘artist in residence’ position at the New Zealand Alpine Club’s Unwin Lodge, Aoraki Mt Cook, over February and March.

Dean, who has had over 40 solo exhibitions in both New Zealand and overseas, is renowned for his modernist treatment of the New Zealand landscape. Using a style very much his own, his love of nature is expressed in bold colours using aspects of cubism, impressionism and reoccurring geometrics.

“(My) paintings are a reflection of my life, the way I live and the way I see the world,” he says.  “Cycling, tramping and mountain climbing energise both me and my work. It is totally inspirational, from the smallest clump of moss to magnificent waterfalls pouring down rock faces and crashing into deep pools, streams meandering through the bush, cliffs pounded by surf, mountains which take enormous effort to climb but once you are on the top you can see forever.”

Dean is no stranger to climbing, having summited Aoraki Mt Cook in 2007 and Mt Sefton in 2011. He is currently working with film maker Hugh Barnard on a documentary New Zealand from the Air.

“Hugh has me drawing from the top of Nuns Veil,” he says.

Mr Buchanan says he took the artist-in-residence position because he needed “a change in scenery” from his Waitakere’s home of Karekare.

“I needed the physical directness of rock, ice, schrunds,” he says. “The topographical reality of the mountains. My paintings  depict my feelings about them.”

He produced two major works and several smaller works in the two weeks he was at Aoraki Mt Cook.

Click on the following links for pictures of Dean's work at Unwin.