Mystery at the heart of work in Trevor Pye exhibition



Photo: Trevor Pye (right) with Mahara Gallery Director, Janet Bayly.


Otaki-based artist Trevor Pye is encouraging visitors to his exhibition at Mahara Gallery to find something mysterious and logic-defying in his work.

Best known for his award-winning work as an illustrator of children’s books, he is now more interested in interpreting landscape and its relationship to still life.

His Mahara exhibition is called, The Still Life of Reverie.

“Einstein said, ‘the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious’,” Trevor Pye said at the exhibition opening.

“I paint to remind myself of mystery. It is the contemplation of mystery that gives rise to wonder and wonder invites us into a poetic frame of mind; a state of reverie.

“Reverie is a state where I am not bound by preconceptions or logic. My rational mind takes a nap.”

Many of the works in the exhibition depict objects on table-tops set in landscape.

“On these tables I place objects – sometimes abstract or semi-abstract and sometimes representational,” he says.

“At times the objects are recognisable and their function obvious and at other times they are unknown and their use impossible to comprehend.

“So it is with our lives. Sometimes we know what is happening in our particular world and at other times it is difficult, chaotic and impossible to understand.

“My still life paintings are metaphors for our lives.”

Trevor Pye was born in Te Awamutu and went to school in Taranaki. His career in art began at age 30 when he went to art school in Adelaide, South Australia.

Back in New Zealand, he gained a Master of Fine Arts Degree with first class honours from Auckand University’s Elam School of Fine Arts and worked as a senior lecturer at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

He has won awards for both his fine art work and as a children’s picture-book illustrator. His best known children’s book work is the Grandma McGarvey series.

Also showing in the gallery’s new SPACE over the summer are a diverse group of artists who have attended workshops offered by Te Ara Korowai, a creativity and wellbeing hub based in Raumati Beach.

The exhibition includes paintings, collages, bird-houses, weaving and 3D work. It radiates creative energy, the joys of making and the benefits of any form of artistic expression. The exhibition also includes some artists from The Shed Project Kāpiti.

Both exhibitions will be in the Gallery until 13 February.