• Jon Tootill

Sanderson are pleased to present Te tae o te Raumati / The Colours of Summer - an exhibition of six paintings and six watercolour studies by contemporary painter Jon Tootill (Ngāi Tahu, Pākehā).

Tootill has been celebrated as a master of contemporary geometric abstraction in Aotearoa[1]; the precision and lucidity of the artist’s imagery being compared with New Zealand masters Gordon Walters and Theo Schoon.

This exhibition is an exciting continuation of the artist’s practice and exploration into the seasonal colours in Aotearoa’s landscape. Focussing on the colours of Raumati (summer); the show reflects the inspiration the artist finds from the hues of flora and fauna that surround him over this period.

Drawing from his Maori heritage Tootill presents engaging interpretations of traditional lattice work and raranga (weaving) in his paintings, whilst in others inspiration from whakairo (carving) can be recognised.

In this new body of work the artist has found inspiration from an assortment of weaving and plaiting work from different iwi. After creating several watercolour studies the artist has developed the shapes that remain present in each piece; creating optical illusions with strong elements of colour.

During the 80’s and 90’s Tootill worked as an art director for Saatchi and Saatchi in Aotearoa. The artist's legacy in design and technology is undeniably tangible in his works. The artist utilises Adobe Capture software on his mobile phone to select his colour palette. Taking photos of the trees, leaves and plants that surround him the software converts these into segments of coloured rectangles, and from these coloured sections the artist selects his palette for his abstract compositions.

New Zealand art historian Michael Dunn notes:

‘By searching for his roots in his Maori heritage and view of the natural world in art and life [Tootill] has found a personal space full of feeling and visual meaning.’

[1] Dunn, M. (2022, November 14). Seasoned Paintings - Recent Work by Jon Tootill. Art New Zealand, Summer 2022 (Issue 184).

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  • Saturday - Sunday, 10am - 4pm


  • Osborne Lane, 2 Kent Street
  • Newmarket
  • Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland, 1023