PAERATA13 — ArtStudioSpace



PaintingAbout Gayle Forster

Gayle Forster has been a practising artist for many years, her first solo exhibition being in 1979. She has also participated  in many group and selected exhibitions. Her works are in the collections of Waikato Museum of Art, Christchurch Art Gallery, Lincoln University,  Aigantighe Art Gallery New Zealand and in many private collections in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil, England and U.S.A.

Her themes are about the land and how people have adapted to it, or how the land has responded to this human habitation, how the land has reacted to natural weathering or natural disasters.

Her painting style derives from the traditional Japanese woodcut (in which she majored) with transparent layers of watercolour, oil, or print composed to suggest the history of the land, past, present and future. Expressive marks and emotive colours are used to reveal the ever-changing  features of the landscape and the effect of human intervention within the landscape. These are on paper, wood and canvas.

In 2016, Gayle completed a major commission called “Transitions” (size 1300mm width x 2800mm height). The theme of this commission is a response to the life cycle of the molluscs as they are broken down to remnants of their previous shell form by the tidal forces and the impact of the waves upon the Mangawhai coastline.

"Transforming",  2017,  her first major series since moving to seaside Mangawhai, explores  the way that water, in the form of a wave, builds up a momentum that becomes a surge picking up random fragments of rocks, shell and sand to toss them about, scour and reshape them and fling them to the shore. This movement of water, in the form of hot and cool colours also symbolises the way that the subconscious mind gathers random ideas, sorts and filters these for the conscious mind to consider. This mirrors Gayle's adjustment to living in a very different environment.

Several further series developed around the plight of the Pohutukawa tree, its strength and its vulnerability. Gayle returns to her roots as a child and uses this symbolism to explore  many different aspects of this iconic tree. The yellow void in earlier works becomes a protective circle,  coloured overlapping shapes  indicate movement through time and the introduction of words suggests the demise of this tree.

Her most recent series "Bird Stories" is her response to Lockdown 2020 and the pleasure the coastal birds, daily going about their business feeding, playing, defending, existing side by side, gave to her as she walked at low tide at Mangawhai's estuary. Life simply went on. In these prints, Gayle returns to the use of large white empty spaces to emphasis the positive shapes, a ploy used in her earlier prints executed after her return from Japan in 1980s, the copper wire birds adding another dimension. Limited edition prints available.

Gayle comments: "In both paintings and prints, the influences of printmaking and Japanese art aesthetics demonstrate a rekindling of my interest in the use of symbolism and spiritual content."

Right top work is from the series 'Transforming" oil on Belgium linen, 260mm x 260mm.


Curriculum Vitae

Contact Gayle for information regarding exhibitions

Art Education

  • 1995 Diploma Teaching Christchurch College of Education, New Zealand
  • 1993 Maori Art Stage 1 — University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • 1992 Credited Theory of Arts, Modern Painting and Maori Art Stage 1, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • 1987 Japanese printmaking with printmakers Iwani Reika and Takahashi Rikio
  • 1983–84 Oct–Jan attended Yoshida Hanga Academy, Toyko, Japan.  Master: Toshi Yoshida — tutor Tsukasa Yoshida
  • 1977–78 Central School of Fine Art, London, England. Post-graduate studies in Lithography and woodcut printing. Tutors: Blair Hughe-Stanton and Ian Mortimer
  • 1973–76 Diploma of Fine Art, Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury University. Majoring in printmaking. Tutors: Doris Lusk, Rudi Gopas, Jack Knight.

Gayle is also a member of the Mangawhai Artists.


One Woman exhibitions before 1991

1991   March: Aigantighe Art Gallery, Timaru, New Zealand

1990   October: Salamander Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand

1990   September: 33 1/3 Gallery Wellington, New Zealand

1990   May: Manawatu Art Gallery, Palmerston North, New Zealand

1987   June: Studio Gallery, Hamilton, New Zealand

1987   June: Manawa Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand

1985   October: Studio Gallery, Hamilton, New Zealand

1985   October: Ginkgo Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand

1982   July: Molesworth Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand

1982   September: Gingko Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand

1982   November: New Vision Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

1981   August: Studio Gallery, Hamilton, New Zealand

1981   April: Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide, Australia

1980   March: Adelaide Art Festival Fringe, Angroves Vineyards and Cellars, Adelaide, Australia


Selected exhibitions before 1993

1993:  Christchurch City Exhibition, Adelaide, Australia

1990-1-2: New Zealand Telecom Art Award

1990: Kochi International Triennial Exhibition, Japan

1990: Tokoroa Art Award (20th), Tokoroa , New Zealand

1987-86: International Exhibition, Miniature Art, Del Bello Gallery, Toronto, Canada.

1984-6-7-90: Mini Print International, Cadaques, Spain

1985: 4th International Exhibition , Small Graphic Forms, Lodz’85, Poland.

1984: Yoshida Academy Annual Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan

1984–86: Xylon 9 Gewerbermuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland. (This exhibition toured Germany, Poland, France, and Italy)

1983: Cabio Frio International Print Biennial, Brazil.

1980: Canterbury Society of Arts Centennial exhibition, Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Royal Overseas League Exhibition, London, England.


Group exhibitions up to 1992

1992 November: “Four Seasons”, Salamander Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand.

1991 November: “When We Were Young”, Salamander Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand.

1991 July: Yoshida Hanga Academy, Gallery Kabutoya, Japan.

1990 February: Festival 1990 Exhibition, Eastern Southland Gallery, Gore, New Zealand.

1988 December: Paper Works and Jewellery Show, 33 1/3 Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand.

1988 February: Guest exhibitor, Aoraki Arts Festival, Canterbury, New Zealand.

1986 August  “Art Works in Wood”, with Tom Field, Peter Ransome, Robyn White, John Robinson, Press Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand.

1985 March: Guest Exhibitor, Waimate Society of Arts, Waimate, New Zealand.

1983 June: Joint Exhibition with Paul Fisher (Potter), Otago Museum, Dunedin, New Zealand.

1982 August: Mixed Media Exhibition, Aigantighe Art Gallery, Timaru, New Zealand.

Awards and Fellowships up to 1991

1979: Rotorua New Zealand Civic Award (two highly commended)

1980: First prize – Royal Overseas League

1984: Alternative Fellowship for Japanese Association of University Women.

1988: Certificate of Excellence, International Art Competition, New York.

1190-91: Highly Commended New Zealand Telecom Art Awards

Public Collections

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, New Zealand.

Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, New Zealand.

Aigantighe Art Gallery, Timaru, New Zealand.

Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa, New Zealand.

Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Gewerbemuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland.

Canterbury Society of Arts, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Timaru Public Library, Timaru, New Zealand.

Hillary commission for Sport and Recreation, New Zealand

National Bank, Timaru, New Zealand.

Timaru Girls’ High School, Timaru, New Zealand.