INVITATION TO "ESPLIN" Tom, Clark & Ron - 14th Apr 2017


A Unique Family exhibition:

The Robert Piggott Gallery at 8 Jetty Street is hosting an unusual art exhibition opening on the 21st of April. The exhibition titled “ESPLIN” features the art work of three members of the same family, the father, Tom Esplin, and his two sons, Clark and Ron. Tom died in 2005, Clark now lives in Auckland and has hung up his palette, and Ron continues to paint in his studio in Jetty Street.
Oils, Acrylics, Watercolours:
It is of interest to note that each artist chose to execute their paintings in different medium, perhaps through serendipity, or the result of a subconscious desire not to tread on one another’s artistic toes.
Tom was predominantly an oil painter, painting by using a palette knife to apply the paint in a style known as “impasto”, while Clark painted in acrylics with brushes, and Ron continues to paint in watercolours.

Family Reunites in Art Exhibition:

The three family members have exhibited together before, but not since February 1999.
All three artists have travelled extensively, which is illustrated by the choice of subject matter in the exhibition featuring scenes of Europe, South America, Canada, and Asia for example.
Ron and Clark and father Tom would jokingly refer to their involvement in art activities as “The family Firm.”
In 2007, two years after Tom died, Clark and Ron published the "ESPLIN" book, an account of Tom and Edith's sixty years of marriage, travel and work together. The book features diary notes by Edith, and they are matched by Tom's paintings. It is not so much an Art book or a travelogue, but more a sixty year love story. 

Professor Tom Esplin won an Andrew Grant Open Scholarship to attend Edinburgh College of Art, where he was dux in his year. After graduating as a Specialist Art Teacher from Moray House Training College he taught art in Scotland before he and the family emigrated to New Zealand.  He held a lecturing appointment at Otago University for 30 years, ‘retiring’ to full time travelling and painting in 1985. During this time he developed his trademark and unique palette knife impasto technique, which makes his work so distinctive. He was active in the promotion of art in Otago, both as President of the Arts Society and of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society. His work is highly sought after by collectors and art lovers alike.
Fellow of the Royal College of Handicrafts, member of the NZ Academy of Fine Arts, member of the NZ Society of Industrial Designers

Clark Esplin was born in St Andrews, Scotland, and came out to New Zealand with his family in 1954. He is the son of the artist Tom Esplin and his wife, Edith, also a painter. He was educated at John McGlashan College, Dunedin, Dunedin Teachers' College, and the University of Otago. He is a member and former vice president of the Otago Art Society. He taught first in Otago, specialising in art at The Taieri High School, since 1976 he lived in Christchurch, where he is a life-member of COCA:- the Canterbury Centre of Contemporary Art. He is also a member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Art. He now lives with his wife, Margaret, in Auckland. He has been invited as a tutor at many successful adult art schools over the years. As a full time professional artist, he draws much of his inspiration from over twenty-five years of travel in Europe, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas.
Dip Teach, Paul Harris Fellow.

Ron was born in Edinburgh and painted recreationally from an early age before attending evening classes at Otago Polytechnic Art School in his home town of Dunedin prior to embarking in 1995 on a serious effort to develop his painting.
He has had a studio in Jetty Street in Dunedin for the last 10 years as a full time artist, and although he paints in acrylics and oils occasionally, he now concentrates on developing his watercolour painting.
Ron is an Artist member and former Council member of The Otago Art Society, and served several terms as a member of the Council of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society. He is also a member of Watercolour NZ, and The South Canterbury Art Society.
Ron has exhibited from Auckland to Invercargill and has had work exhibited in Otaru, Dunedin’s sister city in Japan, and is represented in the Dunedin City Council Art Collection and the Forrester Gallery in historic Oamaru.
Some of his work has been used to illustrate books, for example his watercolour of Otago University was one of only two colour plates published in “Oatcakes to Otago” written by Donald Offwood and sold extensively throughout New Zealand.
Ron spent a year as a regular contributor to Allied Press as a cartoonist, his “Birds eye view” featuring “Albert Ross”, a caricature of a Royal Albatross that appeared on the front page of The Otago Daily Times with humorous comment on local events and personalities.
Ron has also published six books, notably “In the Steps of my Father”, a book of Ron’s paintings of destinations that his father had visited before him.
A series of books now numbering five, began with “A Portrait of Otago” and continued with books of paintings of Southland, Europe, Asia, and one recently published of Dunedin paintings.
B.Com (Mktng.) Otago.

To view images click on this link.

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