Amanda Jane Wilkes’ abstract landscape paintings have their roots in New Zealand’s rich landscape tradition with artists such as Petrus van der Velden and the Canterbury Regionalists but they also have a connection with Mid-century American abstraction and the sublime in the landscapes of Milton Avery and the humming, hovering forms of Rothko’s late works.
Amanda graduated in the early 1990’s with a BFA in painting from the University of Canterbury under the tutelage of Ridwan Tompkins. She has sold her works by commission over the last 27 years and in a number of prominent galleries throughout Christchurch and Southland Otago. Her work is held by many private collectors in Europe, China and Australasia.
Since graduating Amanda has also tutored private drawing and painting classes from her home and through community organizations.
Her work is strongly influenced by her faith. In her early days before completing her BFA in painting while working on a high country sheep farm she testifies to an encounter with Jesus Christ. She testifies this encounter changed the whole course of her life, transforming her heart and mind and in turn her creative processes. “The benefit of having faith in a God you cannot see results in an intuitive and emotive response to the land. I use forms drawn from landscape and reduce them to basic shapes allowing an examination of the formal relationships between shapes and colours. The layering of abstracted forms creates deeper illusory pictorial spaces and a greater complexity of spatial relationships for the eye to explore.”
In her most recent works Amanda applies thin veils of colour by rubbing back and layering, often employing pastels over high key colours, juxtaposing tints of complementary colours as a foil to their opposite. This gives her work a vibrant luminosity. She has departed from a naturalistic colour palette in favour of stronger hues reminiscent of Gaugin’s Tahitian paintings and the Fauves.
Main Work History-
1989/92 – Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, University of Canterbury, Christchurch
1991 – Group exhibition, Fine Arts Gallery, University of Canterbury
1992/93 – Exhibition with potter, Philip Hadfield, The Cornerstone Gallery, The Arts Centre, Christchurch
1993 – (Feb) Invited for solo exhibition at Southland Boys High School.
1995 – Solo exhibition at The Celebration Centre, Christchurch
1998/02 – Exhibitions at The Arts Centre in these years.
2002 – Group exhibition at Min’s Fine Art Gallery, Merivale, Christchurch
2004/05 – Group exhibitions, The Look Gallery, Redcliffs, Christchurch
2008/11- Group exhibitions at the Arts Centre Gallery, Christchurch.
2021 – (Dec) Series of new work exhibited at Wanaka Fine Arts Gallery, Southland
2022 – (Jan-Feb) Exhibition of drawings and paintings, Wanaka Fine Arts Gallery,
(Commissioned works for a number of different private collectors over these years.)
Works sold in these galleries are now owned by private and corporate collectors around the world. A few of these places are America, China, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand.