Charles Brasch, Robin Hyde, Dan Davin, Rewi Alley, James Bertram, Geoffrey Cox, John Mulgan.
Not all of these seven New Zealanders are widely known; their individualism and idealism sometimes put them at the fringes of colonial culture. They have been selected by the artist for their ability to see beyond the confines of that culture.
All of them travelled, engaged with the world beyond these shores, exiled themselves. With the advantage of education, they then spoke thoughtfully and eloquently about the human condition.
Rudolf Boelee was born in Holland in 1940 so has a personal understanding of how world events can impact upon the lives of people. Seeing his homeland ravaged by war he chose to live in this country, in a youthful search for utopia.
In selecting these seven Exiles he identifies the need to look beyond regionalism at the wider issues for humanity. He has painted these portraits as bold chiaroscuro heads that completely dominate the coarse weave of the hessian surface.