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South Gallery

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The Ponsonby Madonna, 1982-1983, Fomison, Tony. Auckland Art Gallery Toi Tamaki, purchased with funds from the Lyndsay Garland Trust, 2006.

 
  • Daughter of the high chief (From the 'Savage nobility' series), 2001, Kihara, Shigeyuki.
  • Tama and his vahine (From the 'Savage nobility' series), 2001, Kihara, Shigeyuki.
  • The high chief and his subjects (From the 'Savage nobility' series), 2001, Kihara, Shigeyuki.
  • Three sisters (From the 'Savage nobility' series), 2001, Kihara, Shigeyuki.
  • Lisa Reihana, North wind: Nga Hau e Wha, 2010.
  • Lisa Reihana, East wind: Nga Hau e Wha, 2010.
  • Lisa Reihana, South wind: Nga Hau e Wha, 2010.
  • Lisa Reihana, West wind: Nga Hau e Wha, 2010.
  • Ani O'Neill, Rainbow country, 2000-2001
  • Star Gossage, Moana, 2006
  • Stick chart, circa 1900, Marshall Islands
  • Edith Amituanai, Millennial, 2008
  • Tony Fomison, Ponsonby Madonna, 1982-83
  • Gretchen Albrecht, Ocean Flower, 2010
  • John Walsh, First we take San Francisco, 2005
  • Len Lye, The Polynesian Connection, 1926-1927
  • Reuben Paterson, Untitled, 2009.

Tony Fomison, Ponsonby Madonna, 1982-83

Painted while the Auckland-based artist was employed on a temporary job scheme, the double portrait is a heartfelt statement of the dignity and strength of Pacific Island peoples.

Originally painted for St Paul’s College a school with a largely Polynesian roll the painting has never been exhibited in Wellington before.

Recasting the Virgin Mary and Christ Child as Pacific people, the painting offers an epic account of Fomison’s own desire to feel at home in this part of the world. At the same time, the artist looks beyond barriers of race and geography, to offer a timeless icon of universal values.

As is also the case in the two other works by Fomison in Oceania, the work asserts the importance of identity, family relations, and the spiritual power that resides within the physical world.