A large-scale religious painting by one of Australia’s most renowned abstract painters has been gifted to the Mission Estate Winery in Hawke’s Bay. The painting, entitled Study for a crucifixion, was done by Dick Watkins in 1991, measuring 152 x 244 cms.
The painting is a gift from Australian-based art collector James Erskine, chairman of Sports and Entertainment Ltd (SEL) who have partnered with the Mission over many years to host the very popular Mission Concerts.
‘Study for a crucifixion is a dramatic work of modern art,’ says Peter Holley, Mission Estate Winery Chief Executive. ‘It hangs in the grand stairwell in the cellar door area so all our visitors can enjoy it.
‘It is a very generous gift and it is so appropriate this striking painting is now hanging here at the Mission with its deep religious traditions. The Mission, New Zealand’s oldest winery, is owned by the Society of Mary and was for many years a seminary for the formation of Marist priests and brothers. Members of the Society of Mary were the first Catholic missionaries to arrive in New Zealand in 1838.’
Artist Dick Watkins was born in 1937 and is a pioneer of abstract painting in Australia. He is stylistically eclectic, citing cubism, Picasso and the American abstract expressionists as influences. His work appears in the National Gallery of Australia and in many State Galleries, as well as in many corporate collections. He lives and works in Sydney, Australia.