McLean’s Mansion Charitable Trust is delighted to have received a substantial gift of sculptures from the Estate of Llew Summers, one of Christchurch’s most visible sculptors, who died last year. The works will be on permanent display in the restored Mansion.
The gift of six large works in wood, dating from the 1980s through to the late work Apocalypse (2016), cover more than 30 years of this prolific artist’s output. The works epitomise Llew’s main preoccupation with figurative work celebrating humanity. They range from a couple dancing, to groups of people, including Circle Dance, on which the large public sculpture on Ensors Rd is modelled.
Trust Chairman, Emeritus Prof Chris Kissling said that the Trust hopes that this gift is just the first in a process of extending the intended gallery spaces in the Mansion, some of which will be dedicated to works from The Pah collection of Sir James Wallace; Llew Summers’ work is also represented in that collection.
Llew’s partner and artistic executor, Robyn Webster, says: “Llew was very keen to have a group of his larger works in wood exhibited together to show the range of his output. I am thrilled that the Trust will be able to keep them together as a collection in Christchurch, where he spent his entire life. They are substantial both in size (from 500mm to more than a metre in height), and content.”
It is also expected that a group of his major outdoor bronze works will be on semi-permanent display in the Mansion grounds once the restoration work is further advanced.
A book on Llew’s life and work, Llew Summers: Body and Soul, by John Newton, is due to be published in August by Canterbury University Press, with assistance from Creative New Zealand.