Artists' Korero: Eion Shanks

Eion Shanks, Ned Kelly, 2020

Eion Shanks was born in Kurow and attended the Dunedin School of Art Oamaru Campus in the late 1980s. He has held numerous exhibitions throughout New Zealand including two previous solo exhibitions at the Forrester Gallery. Shanks is currently working from his studio in Oamaru, while building a house on Cape Wanbrow. The Forrester Gallery has held several exhibitions of Eion’s work, the last in 2018

During Covid-19 lockdown Eion is working hard on landscaping at his house and making work in response to the times we live. 'During this time of lockdown, my latest paintings are all covid-inspired. Here is a selection of my new work, with a quick inspirational jotting about the work'.

Main image – Eion Shanks, with “Kelly keeping his social distance”, 640x800mm, oil/charcoal on board


I like his trust in himself

A plough shear, taken from the land to protect the body.

Grace as a cockatoo

What is true protection and what are we protecting?

Southern Cross is there

All good deeds come from love

A burning heart

Work with both hands

Snakes in the grass

Eion Shanks, “Buddha getting his lockdown exercise," 800x1200mm, oil on board

Passive exercise

Blocking the gate

Making the best out of a bad situation

As above, so below.

Be happy.


Eion Shanks, “Clown juggling 19 to an empty tent," 940x1500mm, oil/charcoal on board

Staying in the Flow!

Feel!, don’t count


Stay Grounded!

Love the mother.

Eion Shanks , “Maui welcoming the new visitor," 1255x940mm, oil/charcoal on board


With or without etiquette

Under our sun Is violence


How deep is the release

In the end,

we all desire to return.

Leave our mountain and food store intact

Eion Shanks, “Bubbles passing the hot potato," 1255x940mm, oil/charcoal on board

To do or not to do.

Empathy was our evolutionary advantage over Neanderthal man.

Is the cure worse than the disease

Love your enemy

If you are interested in finding out more about the work of Eion Shanks, send us an email at

Ingrid Cole