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Alexander Yule

"I met John Drawbridge on several occasions through the ceramicist Doreen Blumhardt. My cousin worked with Doreen at the Wellington Teachers College, and I got to know her, and began working for her, moving pots and stacking the kiln, and started purchasing the odd piece of her work. Doreen had some John Drawbridge works in her home, which is where I first saw his work.

When John was living at Island Bay, on the coastline, where he did his paintings, he had an Open Home once or twice a year to show studio work, things he was painting. I bought Yellow Window from one of those. I liked the abstract colours and design, the blues and yellows. It was my great pride that it was chosen for the big retrospective of John Drawbridge’s work at City Gallery, curated by Greg O’Brien. When it selected it, the work had colour discolouration on one corner, and Greg fixed it up.

When John died I went on a bus tour organised by Doreen and some other people, for well wishers and supporters of his work. The tour visited his murals at Parliament, his design work at Evans Bay Intermediate and a display of his work at the Catholic Hospital in Island Bay which nursed Norman Kirk when he died.

I had Yellow Window hung in my front room at home in Kelburn, and when I recently moved from my house to the rest home at Sprott House, I gave it to The Dowse. I miss it very much, but I have a photograph of it I can keep. The only paintings from my collection I could bring to Sprott House was a watercolour by T.A. McCormack and a very good oil of Evelyn Page’s."

John Drawbridge

Yellow Window, 1985

Watercolour on paper
Collection of The Dowse Art Museum
Gift of Alexander Yule
Image by Jeff McEwan, Capture Studios