Congratulations to Tauranga artist Nick Eggleston on his recent sell-out exhibition in Dunedin.
The opening of his show "Just A Pack Of Bitches" at Dunedin's The Artist's Room Gallery on Saturday 21st July attracted an excited crowd of collectors.
For this series of watercolours, often depicting the English Bull Terrier, Nick decided that his pack would consist of bitches only.
A total of 14 paintings have sold and a further four commissions were requested. One enthusiastic buyer bought one of the pack sight unseen.
The Artist's Room is a leading Dunedin dealer gallery also representing Jenny Dolezel, Michel Tuffery and Ralph Hotere.
At the beginning of 2012 Nick planned an exhibition of just dog paintings and intends adding to the pack as the year progresses.
The series has been inspired by a pack of extraordinary dogs, known as The Bernt Arse Pack, in the classic Russell Hoban post-apocalypse novel "Riddley Walker".
The Bernt Arse Pack is a group of feral dogs that protect and guide the central character, Riddley Walker, throughout the book.
They seem to have some psychic abilities and a certain need to assist Ridley in full-filling his destiny.
It's one of those books that stays with you for ever after.
The paintings are not illustrations of particular dog characters from the story. For Nick they are an attempt to convey something more than just "Dog".
'Cuchulainn' watercolour 530 x 350mm (unframed) 2012
Cuchulainn or Culann's Hound is an Irish mythological hero. The painting features Celtic design that looks very similar to the Maori spiral motifs and contemporary design that appear on some other dogs in this very successful series.
The red boar pendant in Celtic tradition is a symbol of strength.
'El Perro De Los Muertos - Every Dog Has Its Day' is inspired by the Mexican El Dia De Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead festival when people in Mexico paint themselves with skulls and flowers to celebrate the lives of departed loved ones.
The portrait is a tribute to Frida Kahlo the surrealist painter.
'El Perro De Los Muertos - Every Dog Has Its Day' watercolour 530 x 350mm 2012
This series of watercolours has been presented with the usual immaculate skill and the unusual sense of humour we have come to enjoy in Nick's paintings and in a relatively short space of time one of Tauranga's own has won over many art collectors in the South.
When I first saw examples of his painstaking picture making I began to appreciate the wonderful process in what many consider to be the most difficult of painting styles.
The attention to detail, accurate drawing and highly original composition make Nick's watercolours so interesting and unique.
Through hard work and dedication Nick's reputation around New Zealand is growing steadily and he has been invited to exhibit at the Artist's Room Gallery next year.
To see the rest of the pack go to www.artnik.weebly.com
Pete Morris is an occasional painter and an art lover. He is a free-lance writer with a particular interest in promoting the visual arts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.