About the exhibition
Developed in partnership between City Gallery Wellington, and Gus Fisher Gallery, The University of Auckland, this major touring exhibition showcases the charming and immensely entertaining artwork of ex-pat New Zealand illustrator, designer and typographer Graham Percy (1938-2008). Curated by leading poet, art critic and curator Gregory O'Brien, the exhibition draws on the artist's comprehensive collection of work; not only his published drawings but also his many works created for family and friends. These illustrations and ‘imagined histories' depict an eclectic host of characters who go about their activities with strangely serene and determined attitudes-a Venetian kiwi complete with masquerade mask, Sigmund Freud in Dargaville and Johann Strauss recreated as a hot air balloon.
Though based in London for the majority of his adult life, Percy was born in Stratford, Taranaki and studied at Elam School of Fine Arts inAuckland. After graduating in the early 1960s, Percy worked as an illustrator for the New Zealand School Journal and collaborated with other Auckland-based writers and artists. He designed the typography for a number of Colin McCahon's exhibition invitations and set up one of New Zealand's first design consultancies with Hamish Keith. In 1964, Percy received a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in London, where he lived and worked as a successful illustrator and artist until he passed away in 2008.
The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy is accompanied by the substantial 200 page publication A Micronaut in the Wide World-The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy, written by Gregory O'Brien and published by Auckland University Press. Signed copies will be available for purchase at the Gallery.
Developed and toured by Gregory O'Brien and Exhibition Services Tours. Assisted by City Gallery, Wellington and Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland. All Artworks courtesy of the Graham Percy Trust.
22 July - 28 August 2011