Tuesday, January 19, 2016


The current exhibition Julian Dashper and friends at the City Gallery approaches Dashper through the way he collaborated with other artists. It brought to mind a time when Julian worked with Michael Smither. They were both in Wellington and spent an afternoon or two making drawings on large sheets of Steinbach paper. Julian - who could never cram enough metaphors into anything - loved the reference to McCahon's famous seventies black and white works on Steinbach. From memory the two came up with complicated free-style pencil drawings with Michael Smither-rock shapes included in most of them. Who knows where they are now, although having said that Marie Shannon probably does. Julian had already shown his interest in Mike’s work back in 1987 when he made the painting Young Nick’s Head featuring Smither-like rocks as a central motif. We were reminded of this friendship when we found this photograph of Michael Smither drawing Julian on New Year’s Eve just an hour or so before 1992.

Image: Michael Smither (left) drawing Julian Dashper 1991