I have made three large loose canvases of river systems drawn in ink on painterly acrylic backgrounds. The Waikato, Rangitikei and Whangaehu Rivers feature on these, and will be the first of a New Zealand series all drawn to the same scale. The Waikato work measures 1700x1300mm, while the other two are 600x800mm each. These rivers and their tributaries are particularly meaningful to me through my kayaking exploits. These works are part of the Landscape show at Exhibitions Gallery, which closes Wednesday 27 May.
To tell the truth, I am surprised that people who are not similarly obsessed with rivers are interested in them, but apparently, many are fascinated by this unusual view of rivers, the complexity of dendritic patterns and the way they relate to the terrain and give insight into landform. If you observe the Whangaehu River system, it can be plainly seen that the upper tributaries radiate from what appears to be a central point, which is the summit of Mt Ruapehu. This pattern is typical of streams draining volcanoes. Further downstream towards the mouth, the winding, almost looping patterns are typical of low gradient rivers draining soft sedimentary hill country.