Richard McWhannell was born in Akaroa and graduated with Diploma of Fine Arts form the University of Canterbury in 1972. He began exhibiting in 1974 and since that time has shown regularly in Auckland and Wellington. Early works focused on landscape painting, but this ceded to cityscapes and portraits, and the occasional sculpture, after he moved to Auckland in 1978.
McWhannell travelled through Europe in the mid-1980s, expanding his understanding of art historical, religious works. Returning to New Zealand his painting became more dramatic, even surreal, depicting imaginary characters in apparent emotional turmoil, though the sources of this turmoil is left to the viewer to imagine.
During the 1990s, McWhannell returned to painting landscapes (eg Pararaha series, 1992-94) and portraits, featuring himself, family and friends.
- Associated Artworks