13 Nov 2018

Art, Life, Music - Karl Maughan

From Art, Life, Music, 1:00 pm on 13 November 2018

"Music, art, our beautiful country... and driving. What could be better? Join me on a road trip of New Zealand, visiting some of our finest visual artists at home in their studios. They’ll share their favourite music with us, and I’m hoping to get to the bottom of the mystery of their art, what part music plays in it, and what makes them tick" - Charlotte Wilson.

Karl Maughan is not only the best known garden painter in New Zealand – he is one of the most successful in the world.

His works - rhododendrons, hydrangeas, flower borders and greenery of every hue depicted in vivid colour, bold detail and all on a massive scale - are held in the collections of the rich and famous and in galleries around the world.

Maughan spent a long period in London, where he was a finalist in the 1997 John Moores biennial paintings prize, and his works were bought by Charles Saatchi and the Arts Council of England.

Karl Maughan's painting tray

Karl Maughan's painting tray Photo: RNZ/Charlotte Wilson

London was also where he started his family – his wife is writer Emily Perkins. They returned to New Zealand in 2005, ending up in Wellington when Perkins joined the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University.

Born in Wellington, Maughan grew up in the Manawatu, studied at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland from where he  graduated in 1987 with a masters degree.

He's been in demand ever since. His works are held in collections as far afield as the Art Hotel in Florence, and his enormous six-panel A Clear Day is in the permanent collection of Te Papa.

In his Mt Victoria studio, Maughan talks to Charlotte Wilson about the amazing collections there – art books and poetry run to shelves and shelves – his love of oil paints, the eternal lure of gardens, being married to a writer, and of course, music.

Music Details:

GRACE JONES: Pull up to the Bumper

JONI MITCHELL: Don't Interrupt the Sorrow

THE MOTELS: Total Control

L7: Pretend We're Dead

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