Painting, 'Prospecting 2'; Moffitt, Gilbert Trevor; 1980; ESC.15.021


Painting, 'Prospecting 2'

About this object

This is an oil painting by Trevor Moffitt, painted in 1980, and is one from a series of around 150 paintings exploring his father's life and times. Painted in his usual expressionistic and narrative style it is a typical example of Moffitt's work, drawing upon his own background and surroundings to reveal the lives and stories of ordinary New Zealanders.

Born in 1936 to a poor Southland family young Trevor set his mind on art school and becoming an artist. There were many hurdles to overcome. His father told him to leave school at age fifteen and, when Trevor refused, his father didn't speak to him for years and left him to finance his own schooling, clothing and other necessities. He succeeded in attending the art school at Ilam and wanted to paint New Zealand, but in his own way, where people were as important as the landscape. But to be producing figurative and narrative work when all around him were creating international modernism was considered by some to be missing the point . Furthermore, his bold, direct expressionist style was considered almost primitive and this led to slow recognition of his talent. Trevor Moffitt supported his family through the difficult early years by teaching secondary school art, where he eventually headed a large department at Burnside High School in Christchurch. While still not achieving wide acclaim, he resigned from teaching in the 1980's, and stuck doggedly to his task. Trevor Moffitt became arguably New Zealand's leading narrative painter producing series such as the Gold Miners, Mackenzie, My Father's Life, Stanley Graham, and Hokonui Moonshine. Very much a humanist , he completed three Human Condition series. He died in April 2006.


Moffitt, Gilbert Trevor

Maker Role


Date Made




Medium and Materials

organic, vegetal, processed materials, wood.
organic, vegetal, processed materials, wood, hardboard.
inorganic, processed materials, pigment, oil paint.
inorganic, processed materials, synthetic materials, nylon.
inorganic, processed materials, metals, steel.

Place Made

Oceania, New Zealand, South Island, Canterbury, Christchurch

Inscription and Marks

Handwritten in black ink on reverse No 31 "Prospecting 2" $480
Handwritten in black ink on a white Warwick Henderson Gallery label:Trevor Moffitt, Prospecting(2), Oil on Board, 60 x 60 cm, 1980, $14,500




h 620 mm x w 620 mm x d 30 mm

Subject and Association Keywords

Art and Design

Subject and Association Keywords

People and Families (including births, weddings, deaths)


Enyth Good Collection

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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