Ashburton Art Gallery, 18th Dec 2023 - 11th Feb 2024

In Wind and Waves, people and creatures, in, on, above and near the ocean become characters that are interwoven with histories of exploration and scientific research, as well as mythological tales and high sea adventure.

Port Chalmers and Otago Harbour – Kōpūtai and Ōtākou – serve as inspiration for many of the works in the exhibition, as do the natural elements, which are personified as giant entities that command the weather.

Other works look beyond Ōtākou, and by gesturing to David’s love of maps and old books, traverse a watery expanse to explore domains both real and imagined.



Living in Port Chalmers I’m constantly aware of the ebb and flow of both the harbour waters and the rivers of air in the sky. Unsurprisingly, over the years, they have influenced a great many of my stories and drawings.

Some involve the history of the place, some the animals that haul themselves up on the beaches, and some the old myths and legends that still, for me at least, lurk out beyond the dark horizon.

– David Elliot 

Grangerised books and 3D drawings

I taught myself to draw using models and still tend to ‘make’ my illustration characters and think of book pages as worlds to inhabit. This recent foray began by ‘grangerising’ or drawing directly into old books and has since progressed into 3D drawings.

South wind sketchbook

The Kraken


The Tempest



Winds and monsters


Dutch boat

Dutch Boat

After a tiny boat on an etching by Reinier Nooms (1623), titled The Element of Air.


Find out more about the Wind and Waves Exhibition here

Prints available of selected works here

7 x 7 Talk at the Wild Dunedin Festival 

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