1. Simon Williams
Arriving at Kawau Island, Mansion House
Oil on canvas
40 x 137 cm
Relative Size: Arriving at Kawau Island, Mansion House
Relative size

A timeless golden summer, family, friends and the joy of 'being on the water' are the essence of this work. The viewer becomes part of a companionable group strolling along New Zealand's oldest surviving jetty to historic Mansion House. Set amongst exotic conifers, Mansion House was the home of Sir George Grey from 1862 to 1888. An enthusiastic collector of plants and animals from around the world, Sir Grey communicated with notable scientists such as Charles Darwin, exchanging plants and ideas with an international network of botanists and collectors. One of Auckland's earliest entrepreneurs, Sir Grey lavished a fortune developing Kawau as his island home.Today this gracious residence and its spectacular surroundings remain home to the peacocks, wekas and wallabies he originally introduced. In this painting Simon Williams captures the present day enjoyment afforded by the lrgacy of Governor Grey.