Pat Hanly

b. 1932d. 2004

Also known as:

  • James Patrick Hanly

Pat Hanly was born in Palmerston North. His artistic inclinations, apparent from an early age, included joining the Palmerston North Sketch Club and attending night classes at Palmerston North Technical College. He began studies at the University of Canterbury School of Art in 1952 and won the Turner Prize for Landscape the following year.

Hanly met the photographer Gillian Taverner in 1952 and, as a married couple, they moved to London in 1957 to attend the Chelsea School of Art. There Pat also worked as a stage manager at the Gargoyle Club. In 1960, he received a grant from the Italian government to paint in Italy where he worked on the Showgirl series, inspired by his time at the Gargoyle Club. The 1961 London exhibition of this series would constitute his first solo exhibition.

The Hanlys returned to New Zealand in 1962. Continuing his prolific practice, Pat also accepted a part-time lecturing position at the Auckland University School of Architecture. In 1966, he won the Manawatu Prize for Contemporary Art.

Completing several recognised public commissions, Hanly exhibited throughout New Zealand and internationally, representing New Zealand at the 1963 and 1966 Paris Biennales. A retrospective of his work toured New Zealand in 1974.

He frequently painted in series and much of his work was joyful and playful, it also reflected his social conscience - he was, among other things, an ardent anti-nuclear activist – and included his observations of his friends, family and politics.

In 2009, author Trish Gribben published Blast: Pat Hanly, The Painter and his Protests to educate children about Pat Hanly and New Zealand’s nuclear-free stance. This was distributed to every New Zealand primary and intermediate school library.

See also:

Pat Hanly, ‘Rainbow Pieces’ (1972), Christchurch Town Hall of the Performing Arts, CBD, Ōtautahi Christchurch

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aoteraroa New Zealand, 2021