Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

Gordon Crook: A Life of Art 2010

Directed by Clare O'Leary

A charming and illuminating encounter with artist Gordon Crook, who settled in Wellington from the UK in 1972 and has produced a wealth of drawing, collage, photography, painting and tapestry.

60 minutes DigiBeta



Glenis Giles


Leonardo Guerchmann

Additional photography

Andreas Mahn
David Paul
Clare O’Leary


Clare O’Leary
Leonardo Guerchmann


Ray Beentjes


Jeremy Cullen


Gordon Crook
Edith Ryan
Malcolm Cocks
Janne Land

World Premiere

Paramount Theatre, 20 July 2010

Though his jubilantly colourful banners hang at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington and at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre, Gordon Crook, who settled in Wellington from the UK in 1972, is rarely categorised as a New Zealand artist. His work reflects a distinctly mid-20th-century European heritage. Clare O’Leary’s film provides a highly entertaining and informative personal encounter with the frank and charmingly idiosyncratic Crook. ‘Once you’ve given it a name, you’ll never know it,’ he avers, and though he quotes from his memoir-in-progress and names a great deal in the process, the film contains profuse evidence that his primary way of ‘knowing’ himself and the world is through design, symbol and colour. The film abounds with drawings, collage, photography, painting and the tapestries that he is best known for, and will most likely leave you hankering for one of your own. Interviews with his friend Edith Ryan, former student printmaker Malcolm Cocks, and long-time friend and art dealer Janne Land testify further to his antic, enlivening spirit. — BG