AD 1968

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AD 1968  1968
oil on hardboard, 587 x 595 mm
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, gift of the Friends of the Auckland Art Gallery, 2004
See this work on the Auckland Art Gallery's website

Rita Angus’s pacifism sparked this painting. A friend recalled, ‘She was sitting on the beach thinking ... Suddenly she sat up and proclaimed aloud – “In the year AD 1968, I, Rita Angus, can do nothing about war”.’

Looking up, Angus saw two clouds that looked like the letters ‘A’ and ‘D’ – Anno Domini, or ‘In the year of the Lord’. A twig on the beach served as the ‘1’, and sea horses from the Napier aquarium formed the numbers ‘9’ and ‘6’.

Later, Angus saw oil drums stacked on the Petone foreshore. All these images came together in this painting – a pacifist statement, and a memorial to her father, who died that year.

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All artworks are reproduced courtesy of the Estate of Rita Angus.