Painting, 'Self Portrait'; Brown, Nigel; 2003; NZC.16.005


Painting, 'Self Portrait'

About this object

This artwork is a self portrait by Nigel Brown which was painted at Cosy Nook in Western Southland, New Zealand. Pahia Hill is visible in the background.

Nigel and partner Sue McLaughlin moved to Cosy Nook, a small fishing settlement on the rugged Southland coast which can experience dramatic and changeable weather, in the year 2000. They lived and worked there for 15 years.

Of ‘Self Portrait at Cosy Nook’ Nigel says, “This painting was done to show a certain tough rural situation and the artist in it. Pahia Hill behind. Working outside at Cosy was often difficult and interrupted by the weather. I wanted in this work to convey the challenge and isolation of the situation.”

Artist Biography:
Born in Invercargill, New Zealand in 1949, Nigel Brown (ONZM) gained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Elam School of Arts in 1971 and began his full time artist career in 1972. Since then he has exhibited extensively in public and private galleries throughout New Zealand. His numerous awards, commissions and residencies include the Order of New Zealand Merit for Services to painting and printmaking (2004).

Brown has established a reputation as one of the most important figurative artists working in New Zealand and is acknowledged as New Zealand’s leading narrative artist. For forty years, Brown has used his art to address social, political, and environmental issues.

Brown’s distinctive visual language uses recurring motifs, stylistic features and symbolic characters which are strongly grounded in a New Zealand vernacular, employing these to explore and critique this country’s past and present (his)stories. Replete with references to politics, history, literature and the environment, Brown’s re-framing of these narratives invites consideration of the human condition at both individual and collective levels.

In addition to his painting, Brown is also a printmaker and has undertaken two significant stained glass window designs – St Mary’s Catholic Church, Auckland (1991) and Auckland Cathedral, Parnell (1998).


Brown, Nigel

Maker Role


Date Made




Medium and Materials

organic,vegetal, processed materials, wood
organic,vegetal, processed materials, fibre, flax, linen
inorganic, processed materials, pigments, oil pigments

Place Made

Oceania, New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Cosy Nook

Inscription and Marks

On reverse handwritten with brush 'Self portrait at Cosy Nook Oil on Linen. Nigel Brown 2003 Pahia Southland


h 845 mm x w 643 mm x d 56 mm

Subject and Association Keywords

Art and Design

Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords

People and Families (including births, weddings, deaths)

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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