Wool Shed, Fletchers Bay

Jock Leggott, Artist

This is one of the paintings in our collection. It was made in Coromandel, Thames District, Waikato, New Zealand in 1970-1971.
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Object Detail


About the Work
"It was a pretty big deal for him and the family when he won the prize in the Sarjeant exhibition. We lived in New Plymouth and the whole family made the trip to Whanganui to see the show. Dad’s painting was co-winner and I remember the other winner being a landscape of river terraces around Whanganui, intensely green. I guess you have that painting in the collection too.
We camped at Fletcher Bay at the top of the Coromandel each summer from 1970 to around 1977. If the date of the painting is indeed 1970, then it dates from the very first trip we made. There was a lively camping scene at the bay and the woolshed in the painting was the site of some good parties. I will paste below a poem of mine that remembers some of our time up there.

From ’New Moon in the Old Moon’s Arms’, Vanishing Points by Michele Leggott (Auckland University Press, 2017)
4
Shade in the heat of the day. How one word will bring him to another and he learns to listen for the ambient noise of collocation. A goat called Blackberry. A dog called Sweetie. Tents under the trees between Colville and Port Jackson. Three shallow fords. The granite quarry wharf. The spearfisherman and his laughing wife. The drinking boys and their lion tattoos. The woolshed, the shearers’ quarters. A fireplace where hot water steams all day in iron pots. A bench for scaling and boning fish. A meat safe hung in the pōhutukawa whose limbs and epiphytic lilies frame a camp among the trees. The camp is a noisy place. Engines grinding up and down the hill. Outboards running in buckets of fresh water. A chainsaw. A trail bike. Crayfish kicking in the kerosene tins over the fire. The clank of bottles being retrieved from an old fridge hooked up to a generator. Farm dogs up the valley. Night trips to look for the tree frogs of Moehau. He’s painted none of these things but they are there in the green shade beyond the overhanging branches. The tree filters light, the tree filters noise. Here is the frog, fingers free, small bumps on palms of hands and sole of foot. Here is the son of a poet walking over the hills to the shepherd’s hut. Here is a daughter reading on the beach and her brother learning to use a speargun. Here is the priest and his friend who drove to the end of the road and looked out at the flat-topped island. Here are the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Here is what happened on the beach in starlight. Smokers, drinkers. Swimmers, dancers. Mick the cat and Mack the knife. They follow his lead and walk into rooms of green light beyond the lilies and the long arm of the pōhutukawa. Shade in the heat of the day. "
- Michele Leggott (Jock's daughter), 2021
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Measurements
600 x 750mm
Media
oil on board
Description
Painting of a brown woolshed with white roof. A group of large trees are visible to the right of the wool shed behind a wooden gate.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Entered the collection as winner of the art award, 1971
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
1971

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Accession Number:
1977/60/1

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