The labours of Herakles

When we were home in New Zealand over summer, we visited Puke Ariki, (pronounced: pu-key ah-ree-kee, with the ‘u’ in ‘pu’ sounding like the ‘u’ in took, and look, and the ‘e’ in ‘key’ being a bit shortened, and while you are at it, roll the ‘r’ in ‘ree’), the wonderful combination of library and museum in New Plymouth. There was an intriguing art exhibition there, by Marian Maguire, who in lithographs and etchings shows the Greek hero Herakles as a New Zealand colonial pioneer. They are witty and provocative, and had I a spare several thousand dollars, I would race out and buy the lot.

The works can be viewed on-line (scroll down). They all appealed to me, but two especially have remained in my mind, for their irony and humour respectively.

Herakles dreams of Arcadia

Herakles attempts rabbit control

And of course, Herakles’ attempt to repulse the Amazons is Futile.


9 responses to “The labours of Herakles

  1. Argh that’s the second time I’ve come back from the ‘naki (btw with a sign that had ‘horse poo $2 a bag’ featuring prominently on the way into New Plymouth) and forgot to go to the museum. Grr.

  2. Oh, thanks Deborah. These are quite brilliant.

  3. I am in lurve. A hasty email has been sent to my partner to discuss further…

  4. Yes, we are making financial considerations also. I’d nominate Deborah for a cut.

  5. It’s the 150 year anniversary of rabbits being introduced to Australia this year. I’m sending the link of Herakles attempts rabbit control to the Invasive Animals CRC. I think they’d get a laugh out of it.

  6. Oh, that’s brilliant. I wonder if these are collected in book form?

    /toddles down to Unity to check.

  7. The catalogue is available – $45 from PaperGraphica. They don’t seem to have on-line ordering, but they do have contact details on the site.

  8. They have on-line ordering, so much so that I just ordered it. Perhaps the purchase button is not showing up outside of NZ?

    Thanks Deborah.

  9. The artist has been in touch since I ordered the book and reports that Herakles will be on show at the Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University, Wellington from 24 October to 19 December.