Meet the TEAM working on WW1 in Watercolours at 'Splash' 2015

It takes a big group of volunteers to produce 'Splash'. To also plan a commemorative ‘WW1 in watercolours’ exhibition takes a very special TEAM of five artists working together for over a year. They have to willingly explore big ideas, chase red herrings with gusto, be inspired by the servicemen’s choice of plein air subjects and enjoy all day lunches planning the exhibition.

Alan Collins is our most venerable member and is an encyclopedia of war information.

Vivian Manthel-French brings London savvy and diplomacy to the group.

Dianne Taylor is inspirational but forgot about WW1 mud when she painted shiny boots on a WW1 chap at Flanders.

Chris Andersen, our designer/marketing guru, dreams of a Snoopy and the Red Baron aerial dog fight over Wellington Harbour for the Opening.

Claire Clark, exhibition manager

As the leader, it was in June 2013, when I was watching the cleaning of monuments in Whitehall London, that I first started to think about WW1 and how Watercolour New Zealand, as a national organisation, could contribute to the commemorations.

With Lottery Grants Board funding the TEAM’s activity in 2014 has focused on selecting 80+ items of war art and planning their layout for the ‘WW1 in watercolours’ special exhibition. We’ve liaised with private families, New Zealand and Australian institutions, display companies and staff at Wellington Cathedral of St Paul in order to dress the Cathedral for Anzac Day 2015. Twenty-five works from the National War Art Collection at Archives New Zealand, currently being scanned, printed and framed for the exhibition, will later become a national touring collection to be displayed at Archives New Zealand Offices. An information banner for the Chunuk Bair Gallipoli memorial in the Cathedral has been designed and we are currently working on the Opening ceremony for the evening of April 17 2015.

Wellington City Council is including our event in their ANZAC WEEK 2015 programme. There is local, national and international interest in the exhibition requiring liaison and 9,000 people have visited our page on

In 2015 the TEAM will continue research into the war art and prepare labels. The Postcards to the Front’ pre-selection process will get underway with photos due by 1 February 2015 so that we can layout this section early. It will include work from Commonwealth artists in Pakistan working in a miniature Persian style who will be painting for their WW1 servicemen. Then the full Watercolour New Zealand Committee braces itself for the closing of entries for 'Splash' on 1 April 2015 followed by Receiving Day.

Entries for the exhibition are now open and we would like to hear about works in progress, so please keep in touch.

Claire Clark
Exhibition Manager

Phone: (04) 236 7928

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