Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Found: Cheryll Sotheran

Over the years Peter Peryer has made many memorable portraits of women, most notably of Erika Parkinson who was his wife for some time. Last week we saw a proof print of a portrait he had made back in the early eighties pinned up on the studio wall and were surprised to learn it was a portrait of Cheryll Sotheran. 

At the time of the portrait Sotheran was teaching Art History at the University of Auckland and the resident expert on the artist William Fox. She was also a founding member of the Feminist Art Network working alongside Juliet Batten, Elizabeth Eastmond, Alexa Johnston, Claudia Pond Eyley, Priscilla Pitts, Carole Shepheard and the artist now known as et al. Later she was to direct the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and started the trend (followed by John McCormack and Pricilla Pits) of leaving there to direct the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Sotheran was then the first Chief Executive of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa from 1993 until 2002. 

As Dame Cheryll Sotheran she now works for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise where she is Sector Director, Creative Industries, Industry New Zealand as well as a pin-up in Peter Peryer’s studio.