'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Bill Sutton


Somewhere there's a precious captured moment in time. It's in the form of a photo and I wish I could find it right now but I can't, so I shall try and illustrate it in words.

I am about three or four and am sitting on Bill Sutton's knee. He has a big beard- reddish, with white streaks- and I'm in heaven. He has on a big smile, and so do I, which was a rarity then.

Bill stayed at our house in Napier Road at least once, and occasionally visited at other times when he came up from Christchurch.
The connection was my uncle Ted, his student. Ted and his wife Nancy had Bill around to tea at their house in Christchurch often, and were very close.
Of course art historians and many others in New Zealand are familiar with Bill's work and place in New Zealand art history, but back then I didn't know what a well-known figure he was.

I just knew he was a lovely man, probably because he didn't 'talk down' to me, and he listened.
I would love to have been tutored by him.


3 comments:

  1. Talking to children without talking down to them or in fact talking to anyone on their own level is a trait I admire very much indeed. No wonder you were happy. You have such a capacity for smiling though that I'm curious as to why you didn't smile then. Not that I'm asking for my curiosity to be satisfied.

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  2. I just watched a clip about what I think is his best known painting - "Dry September". Fascinating. I appreciate the fact that his paintings were often "composites" of the Canterbury landscape:-
    http://christchurchartgallery.org.nz/multimedia/audio/from-the-collection/bill-sutton/

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  3. Indeed Geeb. Re. smiles - I'll do a post one day. Mostly due to my Mum being in and out of hospital for the first five years of my life.

    YP, that's a nice little clip from Sam Neil. Thanks for finding it.

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