Well-known Hamilton author, artist and graphic designer Richard Stowers will hold his first exhibition in nearly 40 years in December.

Stowers, who was diagnosed mid last year with motor neurone disease, has finished the bulk of the exhibition's 32 works over the past 12 months while confined to a chair at home.
Titled Land Water Sky, the exhibition is of a range of vibrant and exuberant landscapes executed in oil pastels.

Stowers completed his schooling at Cambridge High and studied privately under two Cambridge-based artists, Henry Bruton and Bruce Millar.

"Bruce got me concentrating on drawing no matter the medium. I'd turn up after school and we'd go for a drive. He had it all thought out — a different medium and a different subject."

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Stowers held two successful solo exhibitions in Cambridge in the late 70s before mortgages and family caught up with him. He worked at the Waikato Times in the art and copy department before spending two years at H&J Court as a display artist.

He then launched a successful career as an illustrator, author, and graphic designer.
The author of 11 books on New Zealand history, Stowers was the first historian to uncover the real number of men sent to fight on Gallipoli. His book Bloody Gallipoli established the official war records had underestimated the number of Kiwis landed on the peninsula.

Two other books, on the Battle of France fighter ace Cobber Kain, and New Zealand Wars soldier Von Tempsky and the Forest Rangers, are being made into movies.

The exhibition is open in the Social Space, next to The Ramp Gallery, in Collingwood Street, from Friday December 14 to Sunday December 16, 12-4pm. Entry is by gold coin in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.