Roger Mortimer’s extraordinary new exhibition: Hauraki: Notherly Wind is comprised of four beautiful jewel like
paintings, which are exhibited alongside Roger’s largest work to date – a 7.5 meter jacquard weaving.
The four smaller paintings, despite their relative size to the giant weaving hold their own in its presence. These
beautifully painted works are radiant objects that exude the brilliance of a misty light, giving these paintings real
depth – both illusionistically and conceptually. Inky washes of watercolour and rubbed gold dust have been
carefully built up in translucent layers, so not to lose the delicate hand of Roger’s initial line work, which is
reminiscent of the intricacy & perspective of Persian miniatures and Japanese prints.
These four paintings are all set on small islands within the Hauraki Gulf and the scenes represented at these
locations are typically overrun with illuminations and happenings from medieval manuscripts of Dante’s Divine
Comedy. Unusually for Mortimer’s work, the chaotic disorder and violence of Dante’s narrative is softened in
these smaller works – which are all bloodless, without gore and overt gratuity. That said, it is perhaps notable
with the intensity of Mortimer’s new palette, it is now the earth-red soil of the land which drips and bleeds into the
ocean, while the washes and drips of the phthalo blue skies seem to almost weep onto the scenes below.