Patrick Hanly


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New Zealand painter and printmaker, born at Palmerston North. After studying at the University of Canterbury School of Art, he spent five years in Europe, 1957–62. He was one of New Zealand's best-known contemporary artists and his work included several murals in major public buildings, among them Christchurch Town Hall (1972) and Auckland International Airport (1977). Hanly had a reputation as a political activist, especially involved in water-borne anti-nuclear protests. He was a keen yachtsman, although he could not swim. At his memorial service his open coffin contained his life-jacket, while a ‘No nuclear ships’ banner hung above it. For Hanly, social and political criticism were inherent in his paintings. His ‘Pop’ style works attacked ‘The nation sitting around on its bum, doing nothing’. Highly self-critical, he bought back a number of paintings for destruction or, as he put it, ‘revitalisation’. Of his Pacific Icons series he told an interviewer, ‘Nearly got 'em all. Extinct.’

Further Reading

‘Patrick Hanly: a conversation with Hamish Keith’, Art New Zealand (summer 1979–80)

Subjects: Art.

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