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New Zealand painter Binney dies

Published: 2:36PM Saturday September 15, 2012 Source: ONE News

A New Zealand painter best known for his paintings of birds has died, aged 72.

Don Binney, born in Auckland in 1940, died yesterday.

The cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Binney was famous for his distintive paintings of birds, for which he received an OBE for services to the arts in 1995.

He claimed that through ornithology he discovered a passage into the landscape, and the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with it.

During his lifetime, Binney described himself as a figurative painter, concerned with the psychic metaphor of the environment.

Many of his paintings depict the west coast of Auckland and Northland, featuring the sea, sky and native birds.

Binney exhibited widely throughout New Zealand in his lifetime, and was the subject of a thirty-year survey show at the Fisher Gallery, Pakuranga in 1989.

His work is represented in many public collections, including the Auckland Art Gallery and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington.

An exhibition of his work was held at the University of Auckland earlier this year.

Binney was an alumnus of the university, a former senior lecturer and head of department at Elam School of Fine Arts.

In 2011 one of Binney's most famous works - Kotare over the Ratana Church, Te Kao - was sold at auction for $270,000, after it was donated to raise money for the Christchurch earthquake relief fund.

Binney spent time living in Mexico, London and Australia, before returning to New Zealand in 1979.