Object: Traffic Cop Bay
This image is 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 email@example.com
- 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.
|Title||Traffic Cop Bay|
Hammond, W. D. (artist), 2003, Lyttelton
|Medium summary||acrylic on canvas|
|Materials||acrylic paint, canvas|
x 3750mm (Length)
|Credit line||Purchased 2003|
|Registration number||2003-0027-1/A-C to C-C|
This large acrylic painting by Bill Hammond is named after Traffic Cop Bay, an area close to the artist's home in Lyttelton near Christchurch. Painted in 2003, Traffic Cop Bay features Hammond's characteristic 'birds' - elongated human figures with bird heads and wings. In an ambiguous space filled with unlikely objects and land masses, the bird figures perform various activities which are both familiar and utterly foreign.
The artist as time-traveller
In 1989 Hammond visited the Auckland Islands, located about 450 kilometres south of New Zealand as part of the Art in the Subantarctic project. He commented: 'You feel like a time-traveller, as if you have just stumbled upon it - primeval forests, ratas like Walt Disney would make. It's a beautiful place, but it's also full of ghosts, shipwrecks, death …'
The visit marked a dramatic change in Hammond's art. His 1980s' preoccupation with rock music and domestic interiors was replaced by paintings of birds that stand as guardians of ecological history as well as ecological irresponsibility. The critic Max Podstolski has suggested that for Hammond the Auckland Islands evoked a lost paradise, a primeval 'birdland' from a time before human impact. Traffic Cop Bay is part of Hammond's evolving vision of the New Zealand landscape crammed with 'ghosts, shipwrecks, death'.
Watching for Buller
The subject matter of Traffic Cop Bay was first established in Hammond's Watching for Buller paintings. Hammond's paintings often make reference to Walter Buller, author of the book Birds of New Zealand first published in 1873. In 1994 Hammond commented: 'The Watching for Buller paintings started with the clothing, the dresses with ferns on them. On top of the dress, I wanted to put a passive head, a head that did not show any human qualities, any personality. Birds are perfect - they're calm, they don't have expressions.' In Traffic Cop Bay, the clothes have developed into traceries of ferns that pattern the upper bodies of the figures. Near the centre of the painting is a target-practice dummy with its back turned to the viewer. Is this a self-portrait of the artist, or does it represent Buller, a man that the artist has referred to as 'the bird stuffer'?
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.