Bob Kerr pairs significant historical narratives with illustrative landscapes to give insight into New Zealand's past and people.
Bob Kerr's creative practice combines his two artistic
endeavours: painting and writing. Through the eyes and voices of
scientists, conscientious objectors, and war veterans, Bob tells
the story of New Zealand's history, people, and the landscape.
His historical landscape paintings are often unidealised and
raw, revealing the stories embedded in the land and showcasing a
beauty we may otherwise overlook. Although largely inspired by
stories of historical figures, Bob's paintings are regularly devoid
of people but suggestive of a human presence. Bob invites the
viewer to put themselves into the landscape and imagine what events
have occurred there; his paintings do not offer answers, but
His paintings have an illustrative and narrative quality, which
reflects Bob's position as an artist and author. Through a clear
and clever use of colour and texture, he gives an insight into
stories that are both personal and historical.
Bob Kerr was born in Wellington, and has a DipFA (Hons) from The
University of Auckland. He has written and illustrated a number of
children's books, receiving the Best First Children's Book Award in
1993 for The Optimist (1992). His paintings are held
in private collections across New Zealand and overseas, with his
best-known work appropriately appearing on the cover of Michael
King's book The Penguin History of New Zealand (2003).
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