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Gary Bassett

Gary Bassett

Gary Bassett’s current body of work are ‘the sheep mug shots’. They are clearly influenced by his work within the Department of Corrections both in New Zealand and overseas. They display a playful style that showcases Gary’s talent as he moves from birds to farm animals and back again.

Gary prefers to use his own images and observations when creating his work, he enjoys traveling around the Otago Region in search of inspiration. Reflecting on ‘the sheep mug shots’ he reminisces on the old 1930 gangsters as they look into the lens or suddenly glance to the side in order to reduce recognition.

Gary was born in Surrey, England in 1962.

In 1991 he moved to New Zealand. Whilst visiting the many galleries in Auckland began to rekindle his long held interest in art, this inspired him to explore his own creativity in this area. In order to develop as an artist he enrolled in various courses at the Art Station, Ponsonby, Auckland. Over the next few years he found the inspiration, support and direction he had been seeking by working with various facilitating artists and in 2006 completed the ‘Painters’ Progress’ class with Mathew Browne. He then followed this in 2007 with ‘A Painters’ Studio’ Class with Mathew Browne and Kathryn Stevens.

Reflecting back on that experience he considers that the most important guidance and encouragement he received was to draw, paint and create what inspired him. Although he paints using acrylics and water colours he often returns to his favoured medium, charcoal. He is interested in how charcoal interacts with a variety of textured papers to create changing effects. His work has progressed from abstract to a more realist style, and it is here he feels most satisfied as an artist. Reflecting on influences he comments, ‘we have so many New Zealand artists to be inspired by. Without doubt for me Raymond Ching has been the most influential’. As to the future, he will continue to create work that gives him pleasure and that has a connection with nature.

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