Selected paintings from Gilli Sutton Estate collection to go on sale
An eclectic selection of paintings from the Gilli Sutton collection is being released for sale by tender, with the proceeds to be used to support future young artists.
Gilli, a well-known and much-loved Taupō identity, was passionate about encouraging emerging painters, sculptors, poets and writers, many of whom owe their subsequent success to the encouragement and financial backing so generously given to them by her.
She amassed an extensive collection of works of art and has shared this passion through gifts to the Taupō Museum and Art Gallery, the Taupō District Council and to the Waitakaruru Arboretum Sculpture Gardens.
Brett Taylor’s magnificent “Heartland Taupō” sculpture beside the Museum, Robbie Graham’s imposing “The Crossing” on the Taupō lakefront and the Ora Garden of Well-Being at the Taupō Museum were made possible through Gilli’s philanthropic foresight ensuring a legacy to be enjoyed by future generations of art-lovers.
In keeping with her ideals, an eclectic collection of artworks from Gilli’s Estate will be for sale by tender at the Taupō Museum from 14 August to 20 September 2021.
Among the exhibits is a work by the sought-after artist Charles Barraud of Lake Taupō which will be auctioned separately at the Waikato Art Auction on 20 September.
The Friends of the Taupō Museum and Art Gallery will be hosting an opening function on Friday 13 August at 5.30pm. All proceeds will be invested and administered for the support of future young artists in the Taupō District.
The Museum and Art Gallery is open seven days from 10am to 4.30pm and entry is free to Taupō District residents with proof of address.
About Gilli Sutton
Gilli Sutton was born in Remuera, only child of John Sutton, engineer and “Nug” an English teacher at Iona College, Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay. Gilli was educated at Woodford House in Havelock North and Auckland University – her thesis was on Notre Dame, Paris. She went to England for her OE and did a drama course in London before returning to New Zealand to teach English, French and German at Auckland’s Diocesan School for Girls. She then taught at a state school to complete her Teacher’s Certificate. Gilli left school teaching because she “did not want to teach people who did not want to learn”. Instead, she taught drama at Theatre Corporate and helped run it for years. Most of the early stars of Shortland Street were her pupils which led to her life-long addiction to the soap.
She became a Patron of the Arts and was a dedicated supporter of the Opera.
After many years she left Theatre Corporate and retired to Taupō where she had spent happy holidays as a child. She built a beautiful Mediterranean-style home at Bonshaw Park and had visions of developing an amazing garden on the 8-acre property. However, most of the plants died from “hot-feet” in the thermal, pumice soils so she decided to create a sculpture garden instead.
She became very involved in the Taupo Art scene, supporting young, up-coming artists.
Gilli was a Member of the Herb Federation of New Zealand and a keen supporter of the Taupō Herb Society (former President), whose members banded together to help with the massive task of caring for her large property. Her selfless generosity saw Gilli hosting mid-winter Christmas feasts, Breast Cancer fund-raising dinners, arranging garden tours and wedding photos in the spectacular backdrop of her garden. She was a strong advocate for the purchase of the Ora Garden and spear-headed the fund-raising campaign.
She was an enthusiastic member of the Friends of the Taupō Museum, Friends of the Taupō Library, Wine Club and was also a star in the belly-dancing troupe. She continued to travel each year, visiting gardens and art collections in England and Europe. Highly motivated, energetic and entertaining, Gilli attracted drama wherever she went. She was a quirky, much-loved, eccentric being who lived to help others achieve their dreams.