Object: Lawn cuttings
This image has All Rights Reserved.
Please follow the Buy or license link under each image to apply to use this image. (Charges may apply)
Why you need to apply for the use of this image
Rights for this work may be:
- controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders; or
- unclear - Te Papa will do a more detailed analysis of the work’s rights history; or
- covered by Te Papa’s Mana Taonga principle which supports the rights of holders of traditional knowledge to determine how the image may be used.
You need to make sure you don’t infringe on the rights of third parties before you use this image. Our image request process helps with this. Te Papa does not authorise the use of this image beyond the uses allowed by the “fair dealing” provisions of the New Zealand Copyright Act, 1994.
More information about copyright
We recommend these resources for more information:
- Copyright in NZ - Ministry of Economic Development
- Copyright guidelines and resource - Lianza
- Enabling use and re-use - Digital NZ
Find more information about Te Papa's rights project on our blog, including how rights types are assigned.
Get in touch
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- if you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, or
- if you wish to contact the rights holder for this work. We will assist where we can.
Driver, Don (artist), 1976, New Plymouth
|Medium summary||galvanised iron pipe and chain, aluminium, coir matting, wood, paint, cotton duck and leather|
|Materials||duck, leather, wood, coir, iron, aluminum alloy|
|Technique||assemblage, sculpture techniques|
x 3965mm (Length)
x 200mm (Width/Depth)
|Credit line||Purchased 1980|
Lawn cuttings is a major work, one that represents a significant turning point in Don Driver’s career. Large, confident and ambitious, Lawn cuttings features a dilapidated coir mat, salvaged from the floor of a tent, suspended over a galvanised pipe structure Driver had made for the work. To this he added a stained canvas grass-catcher, a wooden roller, a stencil plate from his old job at Tingey’s paint and art supplies shop, and friend Leon Narbey’s string-laced shoes. The used doormats sewn onto the coir mat backing were stealthily acquired in the dead of night: these worn items were diligently replaced with new ones so as not to leave the owners wanting. Driver completed the umber landscape by draping a long rusty chain over it. Brought together, these disparate pieces form a totem-like whole, a homage to the New Zealand quarter-acre section and the rituals of its weekend maintenance.
The magic of a work like Lawn cuttings derives from Driver’s intuitive and hands-on approach: he collects and arranges, responding to and working up a composition out of the material, rather than setting out to illustrate an idea. In his assemblage works, Driver’s juxtapositions of forms, textures and colours charge common objects and materials with mystery and power. Lawn cuttings marks Driver’s return to assemblage after a period working with relief paintings, such as Horizontal no. 2, in the early 1970s. He abandoned these relief works partly as a result of his frustration over the damage that kept occurring to their delicate surfaces.
Driver has a longstanding fascination with the formal and fetishistic properties of traditional African and Asian art, and has collected a number of Asian sculptures: he is particularly attracted to their raw power and dynamic forms. At the same time, Driver is keenly aware of contemporary Western art, and his early assemblage works have a strong affinity with Robert Rauschenberg’s ‘combines’, and with the aesthetic of the Italian arte povera movement and its use of humble organic and industrial materials. Lawn cuttings has been described as Driver’s Les demoiselles d’Avignon — the instance where the artist welds these two artistic traditions into one powerful, transformative, evocative whole.
This essay originally appeared in Art at Te Papa, (Te Papa Press, 2009)
Results from DigitalNZ
Searching 27 million digital objects from over 150 content partners across New Zealand
- Cutting the lawn -
- Cutting the lawn -
- In 1877 working parties began cutting away the cliffs to form the lawns and gardens of Caroline Bay, Timaru -
- Lawns and Lawn-Mowers. (Tuapeka Times, 30 November 1889) -
Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.