• Roger Mortimer

Roger Mortimer’s new exhibition comprises four large tapestries and three paintings. Having established a distinctive and singular niche in New Zealand painting with his enigmatic and surreal juxtaposition of medieval imagery on current marine charts from around Aotearoa, the addition of the ancient medium of tapestry into his practice seems a natural expansion, with medium and content conceptually congruent.

For centuries, tapestries hung on the walls of castles and grand houses of Europe; in recent decades, they have increasingly been seen in contemporary art and appreciated, as of old, for their allegorical traditions and offerings of moral and political readings. Like one of the great contemporary tapestry artists, the UK’s Grayson Perry, Mortimer is able to translate from painting to textile, thanks in large part to the application of digital technologies to jacquard looms. These looms allow the development of complex designs and patterns in woven works with a tactility, texture and weight very different from painting.

Across both weaving and the painting, Mortimer continues to present epic and metaphorical stories of navigation and transformation, drawing on 15th century illustrated manuscripts of the famous poem The Divine Comedy by the Italian poet Dante. The setting, complete with Maori place name and indigenous flora, depth markings and gold stars marking navigation lights, makes the universality and timelessness of such investigations explicit and the search for contemporary meaning and readings inevitable.

Opening Hours

  • Wednesday – Friday, 11am - 5.30pm
  • Saturday, 11am - 4pm


  • Level 2/22 Garrett Street
  • Te Aro
  • Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington 6011