Portrait of an Icon: The Crown Lynn Swan

IPAG is thrilled to introduce our current exhibition by artist Rod Eales, Portrait of An Icon: The Crown Lynn Swan.

This exhibition celebrates this iconic feature of New Zealand’s social and cultural heritage. Crown Lynn is one of New Zealand’s more notable manufacturers. From being a producer of bricks, pipes and electrical fittings in the 1930’s at New Lynn, Auckland, Crown Lynn grew to become the largest pottery manufacturer in the southern hemisphere.

Most New Zealander’s used Crown Lynn dinner sets every day and excess production was exported. The swan vase was just one design out of hundreds, but one that has survived to tell us a little more about our cultural identity.

The swan was produced in three sizes, with the larger and smaller versions the most popular. Over a period of 60 years the swan has undergone a complete cycle, from its height of popularity where almost every household had at least one, to relative obscurity, then back again.

The paintings in this exhibition are inspired by the artist Rod Eales’s own collection of swan vases and are executed in oil on board on either a circular or oval format. Some of the paintings make connections to aspects of the swan’s historical origins while others simply capture the elegance and the essence of the swan, focusing on the range of coloured glazes that Crown Lynn incorporated in their production.

Rod has painted and exhibited regularly throughout New Zealand for over 20 years and is represented in collections both nationally and internationally. Much of her painting history has reflected aspects of New Zealand’s cultural past through ‘objects’. In ‘Portrait of an Icon’, the chosen object is the Crown Lynn swan vase.