Bush House

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Acrylic on canvas
1730 x 1570mm (image); 1760 x 1600mm (frame)

Bush House is closely related to a slightly earlier work titled Colour Card Family (1966), which is at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (2014/29/6). The gallery refers to that painting as ‘the first ‘photographic appropriation’ painted in New Zealand’ and notes, ‘[Scott] particularly liked the Taubmans Paint Company’s homely colour cards that replicated colour schemes in a contemporary family idiom. By using found imagery and Pop [Art] ideas about everyday appropriation, Scott both celebrates and critiques suburban Auckland.’

Warwick Brown notes that the central tree is based on Tāne Mahuta, ‘the most famous surviving kauri in the Waipoua forest’, and an embodiment of the atua of the forest. Today, the work can be understood as both an environmentalist statement and a forward-looking interrogation of the relationship between tauiwi (especially Pākehā) and te ao Māori. Brown also observes that ‘Scott saw McCahon’s Keep NZ Green series in 1966, and recalls liking the way he had painted the trees and foliage. This looseness is reflected in Scott’s handling of the foreground foliage …’[1]


[1] Warwick Brown, Ian Scott (Tāmaki Makaurau: Marsden Press, 1997), 9.

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Bush House. ; Ian Scott, 66 [verso]

Exhibition History

Gathered Voices: Highlights from the Fletcher Trust Collection, New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 15 September to 11 December 2022 (toured)

Ian Scott, Realist paintings from the late 1960s, Michael Lett, Tāmaki Makaurau, 7 September to 5 October 2019


Fletcher Trust Collection, purchased from Michael Lett, Tāmaki Makaurau, March 2022

Collection and estate of the artist