Dark Landscape

Dark Landscape, 1965. Further details available via Webbs Auction House 


Sir Bob and grandson McCahon Marshall Harvey with the painting at the Karekare Waterfall. Photo Ted Scott 

Sir Bob Harvey

Sir Bob Harvey, author, patron McCahon House, and former Mayor of Waitakere City

 One of the pleasures of my life is owning a small McCahon painting.  

It's not a biggie but it’s an absolute gem in my life. To describe it is simply black on black on black with a sweep that conveys a Waitakere Waterfall and I’m sure it’s my favourite waterfall at Karekare 

I have owned it for 40 years, bought it at Webbs.  

It’s small by McCahon size and unsigned but on the reverse is his name and a date. 

I wanted it because of my passion for Karekare by both night and day. The nights out there are very dark but on a clear one you can see every star in the galaxy and this painting conveys the darkness of a still west coast night and the waterfall to which I’m not adverse to swimming in. 

On the recent 100th anniversary of Colin’s birth I had the honour of recreating my many bus trips on the old McCrae Bus 6 o'clock special from the Central Terminal to Titirangi village in the late 1950s. 

I have such a vivid memory of Colin waiting on the corner of Wellesley and Albert Streets to take the hour-long trip. I would get on one stop before and we would often have short conversations about his paintings and living in the cold damp Titirangi Winters.

 I was 17 and I called him Sir.  

If only I’d had the gift of  foresight I could have said to Colin sitting there with the rolls of canvas he had between his legs and a flagon of sherry in a bag that one day in the long distant future I would be The Mayor of the City and buy his house and build a two-million-dollar studio on the side to honour his name and genius. 

To own a small McCahon is good enough for me and it speaks volumes to my love of the dark Waitakere night.


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