John Papas

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John Papas was born in Auckland in 1942 of Greek-Scottish parentage. Now regarded as a senior New Zealand artist, Papas was initially self-taught and chose to work predominantly in ceramicsand oil paint. He has veered between the two constantly over his career, often producing series of oil paintings with ceramic vignettes produced specifically to be incorporated into the designalong the top or down the sides of the work.

Papas' works are strong by nature and often made up ofdistinctive scraping and smearing techniques. His use of richglazes and other materials in his work alongside figurative and symbolic elements add to his works' noticeable charm.

Papas' subject matter is inspired by his affinity for travel: acalling to explore that affords him an over-arching cultural and environmental world-view. Classical and architectural forms in Papas' work speak of the historical spread of society and the ramifications this constant and lumbering growth has on the environment, acting as a constant reminder of the need for balance. In this manner, Papas' work stands as an emblem to the precariousness of our relationship with the natural world and ourlatent and often overlooked capability to learn from history.

Papas' works can be found in a multitude of public and private collections throughout New Zealand, including the Waikato Art Museum, the Hocken Library in Dunedin, the National Gallery in Wellington, Dunedin City Gallery and in the permanent collections of the British and New Zealand Governments.

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