Willie Docherty

Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts take great pleasure in showing the latest series of artworks by local artist William ‘Willie’ Docherty, Head of Visual Arts at Palmerston North Boys’ High School. Entitled ‘Changes’ the exhibition consists of 24 new paintings on paper derived from a series of landscapes previously exhibited by the artist. Docherty states: “These new works share the same starting point, the New Zealand landscape, ever changing and permanent and the New Zealand skyline constantly in a state of change.” This exhibition is Willie’s first solo show at Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts; previously his work has been included in the bi-annual art exhibition of the Manawatu Art Teachers Association. ‘Changes’ will open with a public reception for the artist on Saturday 25th August, 1 – 3pm at the gallery, 33 George Street, Palmerston North.

William ‘Willie’ Docherty was born in 1953 in Glasgow, Scotland on the 8th of January, a date he proudly shares with Elvis Presley, Stephen Hawking and David Bowie. The artist writes; “On my first day of school I met a boy in my class whose birthday also fell on the same day; we both shared the same passion for art. When you grow up in Glasgow you need an edge, a point of difference, and we made Art ours!” Docherty holds a BA (Hons) and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education with Distinction. In addition to being HOD Visual Arts at Palmerston North Boys’ High School he is also a Housemaster at College House, the seven day boarding facility at the school. “Bowie sang about Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes, which inspired me to use ‘Changes’ as the title of this exhibition.”

Willie Docherty is also a poet and a fan of Robbie Burns he has recently written: “We take a leap of faith, into the great unknown. We destroy in order to recreate. There are personal tales that change our direction, our destiny:


Born in the Gorbals of Glasgow town

My life was one of ups and downs

Wellies in summer sandshoes in snow

A crew cut kid, that never said no

Tae any challenge big or small

Wee Willie Doc took on them all.


The school days, well they weren’t great

The top of the class was one tae slate

Teachers pet that wasn’t me

I was oot the gate, at half past three,


Then a gleam of hope from McGraw

He said, “my drawings wurna’ bad at all.”

I looked in the mirror spotty and pale

And thought I could draw like Raphael


I planned to set the Art School on fire

But, they said my grammar left much to be desired

Art School had to bide its time

While I lit the lamps of Glasgow town


I met a lass tae call my ain

Together we took the southbound train

To Birmingham Art School far from hame

To seek my fortune and my fame


At Art School I started to hear about Pollock and Klee

Expressionism, Impressionism, was this for me?

Then a visit to Paris, oh what a joy

To see Carpeaux’ ‘Laughing Boy’


The plaster, the bronze, the world in 3D

Then I knew a ‘sculpture ‘ I’d be

Five years later-a sculptor not yet

A wee bit older and deeper in debt


A wee baby doc was about to arrive

It was my turn to work from nine to five

Well maybe not five more like five past four

The fastest teacher oot the door


Of course I was dedicated

Aren’t we all?

I’d coax and encourage another McGrath


Two years later and itchy feet

New horizons yet to greet

New Zealand the land of rugby and beer

“Have a go,” “have a go, ” their loudest cheer


Nearly four decades later

And, I’m having a go, and doing OK



Other Upcoming Exhibitions.

Previous Exhibitions.

The Mountains and the Sea
By: Paul Lyons
- 22 Mar 19

RETRO - SPECTIVE: Cash & Carry Sale of Silkscreen Prints
By: Malcolm Warr
- 22 Feb 19

SUMMER FLIGHT: New Zealand Birds and Landscapes
By: Jayeta Valentine
- 25 Jan 19

By: Michele Theobald & Val Jones
- 30 Nov 18

By: Te Wananga o Aotearoa Graduate Weavers 2018
- 12 Nov 18

By: Rachael Smith
- 26 Oct 18

“Licorice All Sorts”
By: Georgia Lambert
- 11 Oct 18

The Art Room (Term 3)
By: Manawatu Art Teachers Association
- 24 Sep 18

By: Willie Docherty
- 25 Aug 18

“A Bouquet of Paintings”
By: Mary Mulholland
- 03 Aug 18

The Infinite Smallness of Being
By: Raemon Rolfe and David Lupton
- 13 Jul 18

Land & Water
By: Timon Maxey
- 22 Jun 18

By: Don Hill & Steve Leurink
- 01 Jun 18

By: New Paintings by Ross Whitlock
- 07 Apr 18

By: Roger Staples
- 02 Mar 18

A Family Affair
By: Colin Hoare and sons James and Alex
- 02 Feb 18

By: Vivian McKenna
- 12 Jan 18

Echoes Of Fiordland
By: Annabel Neall
- 12 Dec 17

By: Te Wananga o Aotearoa Graduate Weavers 2017
- 13 Nov 17

By: Sue Weterings
- 20 Oct 17

IRIS: Photography Exhibition
By: 2017 Epsom/NZIPP Award Winners
- 06 Oct 17

Land and Water
By: Jacky Pearson
- 08 Sep 17

Moments of Transcendent Beauty
By: Paul Lyons
- 11 Aug 17

“Exploring the Intersection Between Detail and Suggestion”
By: John Tidball
- 15 Jul 17

‘The Spaces Between’
By: Anne Morris
- 17 Jun 17

‘The Primacy of Gesture’
By: Ross Whitlock
- 12 May 17

By: Alfred Memelink
- 23 Mar 17

By: Vivian McKenna
- 03 Mar 17

Across the Ditch
By: Australian and New Zealand Print Artists
- 04 Feb 17

“GIVEN TIME AND SPACE” Abstracted Imagery
By: Colin Hoare
- 06 Jan 17

By: Watercolours by Celia Guy
- 03 Dec 16

E Toru nga Mea
By: Weaving and Carving Graduates Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Papaio
- 14 Nov 16

Dot's Nice
By: Elka
- 21 Oct 16

Colour Blast: Work That Jump Off the Canvas
By: Boyd-Dunlop
- 10 Sep 16

Heart Standing Still
By: Rachael Smith
- 30 Sep 16

SAMPLING: Paintings by Jayson Rollon & WARMING BODY & SOUL: Caohagan Island Quilts
By: Jayson Rollon & WARMING BODY & SOUL
- 25 Jul 16

Head for the Coast New Work
By: Beth Charles & Robert Charles
- 11 Mar 16

Extraordinary Art: Paintings
By: Paula Novak
- 12 Feb 16

Window to the Falling Sun: Paintings
By: Annabel Neall
- 04 Dec 15

By: Paul Lyons
- 14 Nov 15

An exhibition of Maori Art - Maunga Kura Toi degree artists of Te Wananga o Aotearoa
By: Te Koru
- 03 Nov 15

Country to Coast
By: Nicholas Hayter
- 11 Oct 15

Anything Goes: Annual Exhibition
By: Manawatu Spinners and Weavers Guild
- 28 Sep 15

By: Dennis Greenwood
- 15 Sep 15

"Soul Is Eternal":
By: Wayne Hansen
- 29 Aug 15