Object: Pah Hill
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.
Illingworth, Michael (artist), circa 1971, Warkworth
|Medium summary||oil on canvas|
|Materials||oil paint, canvas|
x 915mm (Length)
Frame: 1290mm (Height) x 1140mm (Length) x 65mm (Width/Depth)
|Credit line||Purchased 2004|
Pah Hill by Michael Illingworth is an oil painting in which the landscape has been reduced to two elements - an impossibly conical hill from which the painting gets its title, and a lurid sky that dominates the picture. While the painting is a stripped back vision of the landscape, Illingworth pays close attention to his subjects. The hill is a silhouette, dark against a flaming sunset, but the viewer can still see the remains of fortifications, carefully rendered as a series of bands that shape the hill. The sky is transformed into a complex pattern of clouds and colour, which echo the steps of the pä and also evoke an unseen landscape, cut off by the tight focus on the hill and encroaching darkness.
A painter of landscape
Illingworth belongs alongside painters like Don Binney and Michael Smither who created distinctive representations of the New Zealand landscape. Like these artists, Illingworth choose landscapes filled with iconic symbols. He painted in a tightly controlled style, in which everything was clarified and sharply outlined. The results are meticulous - carefully crafted from layers of oil paint, which give the images their characteristic glow. In 1968 the critic Petar Vuletic described Illingworth's paintings as 'icons', a term appropriate to his work of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Pah Hill was painted.
Signs of prior presence
Pah Hill draws on two important themes in Illingworth's art. The suggestive visual similarity between a human breast and the hill links this painting to other works such as Fertility (also in Te Papa's collection) in which human figures and genitals are placed in the landscape. And, as the title makes clear, this hill is a pä site, a marker of Mäori relationships to and prior inhabitancy of the land.
Both of these themes merge in Pah Hill, which expresses Illingworth's belief that Mäori culture was more in tune with the primordial forces of nature. In an artist statement for the Earth/Earth exhibition (1971) at the Barry Lett Galleries in Auckland, he explained: 'Save Manapouri etc by all means - seal it entirely from the junk of our civilisation - let man only go there naked and on foot to learn to love this land as do our Maori hosts when they speak of the ancestral lands.'
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.