This series was created at the invitation of Chris and Sam Ludbrook to observe the family’s one hundred and fifty years association with the land near Ohaeawai known as TupeTupe.
My initial response was to imagine the terrain as it might have looked before the advent of the human touch, the small marks made upon it by Maori and Pakeha, missionaries and farmers of Waimate North, Ohaeawai and Pakaraka.
Four acrylic works suggest a wild landscape of volcanic cones, lava fields, streams and springs. Then, viewed from a distance the buildings appear just as they would have emerged, separated between puriri stands and rocky contours and finally, a few compositions in which smaller domestic objects were superimposed in the picture space. Thus the collection evolved in a manner parallel to the actual settlement of the Ludbrook family.
It is important to me that an idea and thought process is present in the evolution of a painting. It is not simply a process of reproducing what is visible, but revealing the familiar as an invitation to viewers to resume their own experience in slightly more depth. To commemorate the exhibition and the event it honours, this catalogue has been published to include a map and two recent photographs I have taken at Tupe Tupe.
David Barker, March 2010
THE LUDBROOKS AND TUPE TUPE
The name Ludbrook has, for the past one hundred and fifty years been associated with the development of the Far North areas of Waimate, Pakaraka and Ohaeawai, also known as Taiamai.
In 1832, at a ceremony in the county of Norfolk, England, Samuel Goddard Ludbrook married Mary Ann Blomfield. Samuel was to die young. In 1840, after this loss, Mary Anne, with their sixteen year old son, Samuel Blomfield Ludbrook, travelled to New Zealand to be close to her two sisters who were living in the Far North as missionary’s wives.
Twenty years later, on September 6th 1860, Samuel and his wife Caroline (née Williams) bought one thousand acres of land in the hinterland of the Bay of Islands from her brother, John Williams. Samuel and Caroline were to be among the first white settlers at Ohaeawai; their farm was known as Tupe Tupe as it is today. They were later to gift a portion of this land to the local people of Ohaeawai for their post office.
Then in 1909, their son, Henry Ludbrook, who had inherited the farm also gave land, this time to be used as the sites for the Ohaeawai church and school. A little later even more TupeTupe land was donated to the people of Ohaeawai and Waimate North as a sports ground, now called Ludbrook Park. Henry became involved with the local community as chairman of the Bay of Islands County Council, raising money to build the resident doctor’s house, planning many aspects of the settlement, and undoubtedly doing more for the neighbourhood than is formally recorded.
Today, fifth generation Ludbrooks continue to farm stock on Tupe Tupe land. Sam and Christine provide respite to travellers in the historic farmhouse and gardens, and produce a line of elegant gourmet foodstuffs from local produce. The present Ludbrook family continues a long tradition of contributing energy, ideas and support to the community of the Taiamai Plain.
Jill Malcolm, March 2010