Turkington art on display at museum


The Rotorua Museum has landed a major exhibition which will showcase the art of James Turkington.

Surface Treatments: The Art of James Turkington is the first major exhibition of artworks by Turkington (1895-1979) since the early 1970s.

The exhibition opens at Rotorua Museum on Wednesday and showcases rarely seen material from the museum's collection.

Curated by Karl Chitham, the exhibition tracks some of the key moments in Turkington's career, from his humble beginnings as a budding artist on the World War I battlefields to his rapid rise as a top muralist in the 1950s and 1960s.

It is a celebration of one of this country's most prolific mural artists and an unsung champion of New Zealand modernism.

A highlight of the exhibition is an 8-metre long mural he created for the opening of the Rotorua Airport terminal in 1965.

The mural features a range of Rotorua subjects, including the famous love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai.

Alongside this work will be original drawings and designs for other mural projects, and a number of oil paintings on loan from the Turkington family which have not been on public display since the artist died.

Turkington was a keen innovator who experimented with a range of materials and techniques, as seen in the now refurbished glass chip mural on the Parnell Baths in Auckland.

While highlighting key elements of Turkington's extensive career, this exhibition also introduces the person behind the art.

Entry is included with museum admission, which is free for Rotorua residents with proof of residence.

The exhibition closes on Sunday, October 13.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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