Paintings at Parnell Gallery

Visit Parnell Gallery, 263 Parnell Rd, Auckland, at any time to view an ongoing selection of Minson's contemporary Maori portraits and mythical New Zealand landscapes including the pink and white terraces with ancient waka.


Watch Maori Television feature on Sofia's 2012 solo exhibition at Parnell Gallery


Sofia Minson marked her 10th solo exhibition with a contemporary take on 19th century New Zealand masterpieces. Her exhibition of contemporary Maori oil portraits and mythical New Zealand landscapes was on at Parnell Gallery in Auckland from 4 to 18 September 2012. The gallery continues to exhibit an ongoing selection of her works so call in at any time to view Minson's recent artworks.

"Tame Iti" 755 x 505 mm
"Terraces of Myth" 1270 x 1800mm
"Tame Iti" 755 x 505 mm
"Pink and White Terraces" 1300 x 1300 mm
"Travis Rapana" 3 x 2 metres
"Stan Walker" 910 x 505 mm
"Dominion of Pouakai" 850 x 1800 mm
"Good as Goldie" (Karl Sim, Goldie art forger) 1300 x 1300 mm
"Girl in graphic style" 1000 x 1000 mm
"Hokioi" 500 x 1800 mm
"Blue Planet" 1010 x 1370 mm

“We’re No Vanishing Race, Goldie"

Sofia Minson's contemporary take on 19th century New Zealand masterpieces

Charles Goldie’s sought-after oil portraits of Maori have twice broken the $500,000 mark at auction. Recession or not, buyers will still invest in top-quality New Zealand historic works “especially of Maori” says Sofia Minson “because like it or not, Maori culture is what sets us apart from the rest of the world.”

Last year while curating New Zealand Portrait Gallery’s “Makers of Modern New Zealand” exhibition, economist Brian Easton discovered “there is no tradition of Maori portraiture since Lindauer and Goldie and that's something I hadn't realized.  It's terrible, there is not even a good portrait of Sir Apirana Ngata.”

Parnell Gallery director Sally Souness believes Minson is filling an important niche by creating Maori oil portraiture for her generation, using the traditional Western medium to show contemporary Maori as a vibrant and evolving people. Minson’s portrait and landscape oil paintings are inspired by her mixed Maori and European heritage.

Far from Goldie’s recordings of a “vanishing race” is Minson’s towering three metre high portrait of Travis Rapana, descendant of Ngapuhi chief Hone Heke. Painted in sepia tones reminiscent of 19th century photographs of Maori, he wears a traditional kiwi feather cloak, holds a pounamu war club above his head and could be mistaken for a historical chief if it weren’t for a lion tattooed on his chest - certainly no ancient moko.

The other half of Minson’s interest lies in painting mythological New Zealand landscapes. The viewer’s eye follows a carved ancient waka into her vivid pink scene of the White Terraces, clearly reminiscent of Blomfield’s White Terraces. Minson wants her work to feel primordial and mythical so the spectacular landscape can become firmly part of our imaginations again.

From 4 - 18 September, Parnell Gallery is exhibiting Sofia Minson’s contemporary oil paintings that salute old New Zealand masters and reflect our land and culture.


Parnell Gallery

Gallery Hours: 
open seven days
Monday - Friday 9:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday - Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm



Phone: 09 377 3133 

263 Parnell Road
New Zealand

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