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Phyllis Underdown: Gisborne

Phyllis Underdown: Gisborne

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  • Wed 12 Oct ’11, 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Thu 13 Oct ’11, 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Fri 14 Oct ’11, 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Sat 15 Oct ’11, 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Sun 16 Oct ’11, 1:30am – 4:00pm
  • View all sessions


Tairawhiti Museum, Stout St, Gisborne


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

Phyllis Underdown was recognised as a Life Member of the Tairāwhiti Museum and Art Gallery in 2009 for her significant contribution to the arts in Gisborne as an artist, teacher and advocate. At the beginning of September an exhibition of her paintings will be hung in the Concourse Gallery. Included in the exhibition is her painting entitled Cornfields (1965) which is one of the treasures of the museum’s collection.

Phyllis was born in Wellington and attended Wellington Technical College of Art. After graduating from the art college she enrolled at Wellington Teachers' College. By 1954 she was in Gisborne beginning to raise a family. As a member of the local art gallery she encountered notable local artists such as Alan Barnes-Graham, Stan Bugden and Gwen Ockenden. She continued to develop her art practice, making the transition from watercolour to oil painting.

Phyllis was appointed Head of the Art Department at Gisborne Girls' High School in 1973. In this position Phyllis was able to devote her time to teaching and to developing her own art practice. In 1976 she attended a print making weekend tutored by Penny Ormerod and became a member of the printmaking group. Phyllis has remained an active member of the Artists Society and continues to exhibit paintings and prints.

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