Michael Smither

Leading practitioner and Elam graduate (1960) Michael Smither is known for his bold graphic style, creating works which often encompass an environmental and/or personal content. Following art school, Smither was a founding member of ‘Group 60’ with Don Driver providing mentorship. He has painted and sculpted his entire career and is also an accomplished musician. His musical expertise informs his work as evidenced in the lyrical quality of his mountain ranges particularly. Having observed his father’s practice as a screen printer, in the 1960s Smither too explored and exploited the potential of this medium to produce works which were not only more affordable but also paid tribute to this modern medium. With colourful musicality, Smither's recent screen-prints abstract and simplify the local landscape surrounding his Otama Studio. Smither portrays boats in the Okahu harbour, stripping them back to flags of colour. Backbeach depicts the islands off Port Taranaki, while in Phantoms Peak, Mt Taranaki is reduced to a curvaceous blue line. The After Seurat series developed out of the artist's travels to the UK and USA to view Seurat's paintings. 'Normally,' states the artist, 'the preface 'after' indicates a copy of another artist’s work. In this case it refers to the inspiration Seurat's paintings had on the development of my own work.'



Taranaki Spring Time

Michael Smither