Artist Bill Hammond (photo: Auckland Museum).
Department of Conservation, Director General, Lou Sanson says New Zealand has lost a great advocate for native wildlife with the death of artist Bill Hammond.
“We join the rest of the country in mourning the sad loss of Bill and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones,” said Mr Sanson (pictured, right).
Christchurch-born Mr Hammond, noted for the environmental and socially-aware themes of his work, died on Saturday aged 73.
He was considered one of New Zealand’s most influential contemporary painters.
“I recall that Bill’s initial inspiration for his famous ‘bird people’ work came on a joint trip with DOC and the Royal NZ Navy to the Sub Antarctic islands in the early 90s where he came across a copy of Buller’s Book of Birds,” Mr Sanson said.
“Inspired by the birds in rata trees on Auckland Islands, he went on to create his iconic series so well loved by many.
“We will have this art forever and he leaves us with an incredible legacy.”