Popular painter honoured


The career of celebrated Waikato artist Joan Fear, whose paintings are exhibited in Tamahere at Inspirit Gallery, is being marked with a retrospective exhibition.

To mark the exhibition at the Waikato Museum, the Waikato Times‘ Denise Irvine has written a moving tribute to Fear’s remarkable life and career headlined Without fear.

Waikato artist Joan Fear early in her career

Joan Fear’s been drawing for as long as she can remember. It was her favourite thing as a child and, during the no-frills years of World War II, she drew on any material she could lay her hands on. “Paper off the bread, or anything else that was wrapped in paper. Or wallpaper offcuts. We used crayons, whatever was available.”

At the long-gone Kauroa School near Raglan, she drew on the blackboard. When she was about seven, she recalls her teacher put a circle around one of her drawings to indicate it should not be cleaned off. It was a signal to Fear that this was an OK work. “I think it encouraged me. I kept drawing.”

Jenny Scown, director and curator of Tamahere’s Inspirit Gallery, shows Fear’s paintings at her place and said these have drawn people from far and wide, the paper reported.

“She is a unique artist. I love what Joan leaves to the imagination and the way light plays on her paintings, changing them throughout the day. They challenge me to look closer and they don’t reveal all their secrets at once.”

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