Born and raised in Canterbury, I have always been drawing and painting. I had an earlier career as a community worker but slowly got ‘drawn’ into the art world after showing work at the Canterbury Society of Arts in the early 90s. My first exhibition in 1992 was to be all acrylic paintings but I ended up running short of time. Someone suggested I do a few drawings to fill in the gaps so I dug out a forgotten box of pastels and felt an immediate affinity with this powdery medium. Most of my work is now in pastel - I like that you have to use your fingers to blend the colours together, like finger painting, and that you are essentially building a picture from coloured dust - there is something elemental about that. My work explores the lands, skies and waters of the South Island especially the unique braided rivers of Canterbury.
I have been living near the Selwyn River/Waikirikiri close to Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere in Canterbury since the mid 1990s. The deterioration of this river and lake, along with many others in Aotearoa, spurs my artwork and my life. I am active in local freshwater issues as I believe we all have a moral responsibility to ensure the environment is in good shape to pass on to our children and their children. I'd also be a hypocrite if I didn’t take some stand for the land and water that I try and celebrate in my work.
I enjoy being involved in the local art scene in Selwyn and have been part of many community art initiatives, including helping to establish the Down By The Liffey Gallery in Lincoln following the earthquakes.
I find it hard to describe my work. I came up with this description years ago and I think it still holds true:
Looking down on a river winding through the hills or a spectacular sunset - is food for the soul. There is a sense of awe, of peace and of harmony with nature - these are the feelings that I am trying to convey in my artwork.
You are welcome to visit my studio/shed to see latest works.
Please make an appointment as this gives me time to tidy it up...
I'm very happy to accept commissions - contact me.
I hope you enjoy my paintings. Mike Glover