World Builder:: The Bob Gerrard Story

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


World Builder: The Bob Gerrard Story

11 May - 30 September 2018

World Builder presents the life and work of an extraordinary self-taught artist whose work has rarely been seen outside of Wellington. Strange, mysterious and deeply inventive, Bob Gerrard’s artwork gives a view into another world.  

Gerrard’s sculptures and the selection of nearly 50 paintings depict a surreal realm with its own peculiar logic. His large wooden Noah’s arks are decorated with intricate tableaux, crafted with both skill and humour. Populated with mermaids, animals, wondrous temples and gardens, the arks are their own floating worlds.  

The paintings are from a series called El Bib, or Bible spelt backwards, with a cast including Jonah and the whale, Noah and his ark, Neptune, Santa and the Grim Reaper. Viewing El Bib feels like walking into a movie halfway through. From tourism possibilities at the North Pole to the eventual demise of Jonah’s marriage, the dramatic action is cuttingly hilarious.  

Come and see a selection of whimsical sculptures and paintings inspired by biblical, mythological and historical narratives. 

Toured by the Dowse Art Museum in Wellington, the exhibition opens at the New Zealand Maritime Museum on Friday 11th May. The Dowse is grateful to the Bob Gerrard family for their generous donation of his work.