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Tricker the master printer

Gary Tricker was a world-renowned printmaker. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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Gary Tricker 24.09.1938-23.08.2021

Internationally-celebrated Greytown printmaker Gary Tricker has died at the age of 82.

Tricker died unexpectedly from a stroke last week.

His prints and etchings featured in exhibitions around the world, including in Argentina, India, Yugoslavia, and France.

Tricker’s partner, potter Pamella Annsouth, said his passing was tragic, given it happened so suddenly.

Annsouth said Tricker was a modest and caring person who adored his two Burmese Mandalay cats Tahi and Toko.

“He treated them as family.”

Tricker had a hearing disability from birth which made him introspective.

“He lived in his imagination and dreams a lot of the time,” Annsouth said.

His father was a railway man and Tricker had lived in railway houses growing up.

Cats and trains featured prominently in Tricker’s prints and etchings. Very often the two objects were combined within one piece of art.

Tricker worked for about 18 years as a graphic artist at the National Publicity Studio of the Government Tourist Department, where he managed tourist publications.

He received two Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council awards to study in 1965 and 1976.

From 1976 Tricker worked as a fulltime printmaker.

Reviewers described his work as whimsical, with a “dreamlike quality”. Some compared his imagery with that of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and said that like JRR Tolkien, he had created his own mythology.

“His work was very much imbued by the loves of his life,” Annsouth said.

Although cats and trains pervaded his art, Tricker’s other great passion for rugby – and his devotion to the Hurricanes – was not so conspicuous.

“He adored rugby and watched every game as if he was playing it himself.”

Annsouth said Tricker was a master printer who had developed his own techniques over the course of his career.

“The quality of his work was absolutely supreme. He chose the best materials and treated everything with great respect.”

Tricker had left his life’s work – almost 500 artworks – to the Waikato Bequests Trust for display in Waikato Museum.

A memorial service in Wairarapa would be arranged when covid-19 alert level restrictions allowed.

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