James Ormsby

  • Opening Date: Tuesday, 23 February 2016
  • Closing Date: Sunday, 13 March 2016
  • Opening Time: Tues-Fri 11am - 5pm, Sat 11am-4pm

James Ormsby received a Master of Fine Art from RMIT and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Melbourne. Upon returning to New Zealand he was commissioned to paint AUT'swhare (meeting house) and the ceiling design and artwork for the RNZ Navy whare.


Drawing is a passion for James Ormsby, he describes it as his first language and his skill is evident as is his emotional response to the images, motifs and marks in his work. As a contemporary artist he questions what his ancestors, both Tangata Whenua and Scottish, would have used to make their marks and what was the significance of the visual symbols they chose to depict.


Research is an integral component in Ormsby's practice, he spends many hours studying and interpreting ancient sketches and documents. His works make reference to history and religion. In an era when artists are increasingly experimenting with new technology, Ormsby prefers to work with the organic. Again, he goes back to research and sources traditional or natural materials that his ancestors would recognise and associate with, such as natural ochres and pigments.



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