Topic: Bullmore, Edward Aaron Alexander (Ted)
Rugby rep; artist; teacher: Ted Bullmore was all these.
E.A. Bullmore, Dip.F.A.Hons.(NZ), worked at the Rotorua Boys High School from 1970 till his death in 1978. Born in Southland he played rugby for Soutland before moving to Canterbury.
"Affectionately known as "Gentle Ben", his early death deprived the School and the country of a remarkable man. Before taking up his appointment at the School in December, 1969, Bullmore had made quite a name for himself in Europe as an artist, but was largely unknown in New Zealand.A short time after graduating with his Diploma in Fine Arts from the Canterbury University - College in 1956, he travelled to Europe and spent a year in Florence from 1959 - 1960 learning from the great artists of the Rennaisance before going to London. It was during his "London Period from 1960 - 1969 that some of his best work was done. His works from this period now command prices in the tens of thousands . His "Hikurangi No.4A 'Rent'" piece, a mixed media-canvas work measuring 135 x 185.1 cm completed c. 1963, was valued at $24,000 in 1989. The School is very fortunate to posses one of his paintings, which is now displayed in the Harwood Library, and a slightly more unusualbut striking work displayed rather more prominently.
Shortly after his return to New Zealand from London, Bullmore painted two large murals as backdrops to exhibitions. One was commissioned for the Kiwi House at the Rainbow and Fairy Springs tourist attraction which is still insitu [ was destroyed when changed were made to the Kiwi House], and the second was commissioned by the first Director of the City of Rotorua Museum, Dr D.M. Stafford, as a backdrop[ for a static exhibition on wildlife at the Museum. When the Bath House was extensively refurbished and the permanent displays dismantled in 1989, this mural became surplus to its requirements. It was gifted to the School, in respect of Bullmore's close association, through the offices of the then Director of the Museum, J.F. Perry, the Primciple, Crammond, and staff member, C.J. Raphael, who had been a close friend, colleague and admirer of Bullmore. The mural was installed after some careful reduction in the foyer of the Main Building over the 1989 - 1990 Christmas holiday period where it looks stunning and most attractive [because of concerns with the conservation of the work it was gifted to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, and will be hung in the Tauranga office 2011]. .....
The mural represents Bullmore's vision of the pre-European New Zealand landscape from the Bay of Plenty coast on the left moving inland through bushand farmland to Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island on the right of the foyer as seen from the entrace hyall. It is a life-like two dimensional mural with polystyrene rocks jutting out beyond the mural at the left to a wire and post fence at the right. It is a most entrancing art work in its own right and is very representative of the unorthodox media that Bullmore was prepared to use in his work."
from Rotorua's Plume : a history of Rotorua Boys High 1880 - 2001 by Kevin J. Lyall; 2003
Go to DigitalNZ to see a self-portrait of Ted.
For a review of Bullmore's art http://www.art-newzealand.com/Issues11to20/bullmore.htm
by Su Potter