Julian Hooper, Artist

This is one of the paintings in our collection. It was made in New Zealand in 1995.
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Object Detail

About the Work
This painting was first exhibited at Janne Land Gallery, Wellington, in 1995 as part of Julian Hooper's exhibition titled 'The Reverend Richard Taylor'.
Reverend Richard Taylor was an early missionary working in New Zealand who was responsible for the Whanganui River area between the 1840s and 1870s and was working for the Christian Missionary Society . He is also the artist's great-great-great- grandfather and the works in the exhibition reflected the artist's feelings about his ancestor and his place in New Zealand history.
Reverend Taylor was ordained as an Anglican minister. In the Anglican tradition 'Mass' (the painting's title) is one of many terms for the Eucharist - the Christian service or sacrament commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed (also known as Communion).
The definition of the term 'Mass' as a noun is 'a large number of people or objects crowded together'; as an adjective it means' involving or affecting large numbers of people or things'; and as a verb it means 'to assemble or cause to assemble into a single body or mass'. Reverend Taylor had a substantial influence and effect on the Māori living in the Whanganui region during his time there. He travelled throughout the region and tried to keep the peace between Māori and settlers. By the early 1850s as many as two-thirds of the Māori population in his district had been baptised and many churches were built.
The painting 'Mass' depicts Reverend Taylor's house as well as the church at Pūtiki in Whanganui. It also shows a swarm of bees flying through the air. The Reverend was known to be a bee-keeper. The bees in the painting are most likely a metaphor for Reverend Taylor's congregation.
1523 x 1522mm
oil on canvas
Painting depicting a two storied house and a white steepled church amongst trees and foliage, viewed from a high vantage point. The scene is viewed through a swarm of flying bees. The house is Reverend Richard Taylor's and the steeple is Pūtiki church, Whanganui.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Purchased, 1996
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
09 Jul 1996



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