Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali

I wrote this blog article and published it on this site on 22 January 2015

Blog article of 22 January 2015

When I was a young man of 21, 37 years ago, I was interested in Philosophy and Religious Studies.

I topped all Professor Lloyd Geering’s religious studies classes at Victoria University in the capital of New Zealand, Wellington.

Lloyd Geering is New Zealand’s greatest Christian heretic and a lost soul but he was fair.

A lot of Christians topped Lloyd Geering’s classes including Chris Marshall, Pastor Tom Marshall’s son, who later earned a doctorate in theology. Chris lectures at Laidlaw College, Auckland. This institution was formerly known as the New Zealand Bible College.

My father, Reuben Donald Elley lectured there for eight years in the 1970s, in Pastoral Care and Evangelism.

My father. Free-spirited, very godly and funny.

My father. Free-spirited, very godly and funny.

I recall debating religion, and in particular Christianity, with Lloyd Geering numerous times in the old high-ceilinged tutorial rooms in the Victorian Building which housed the Philosophy and Religious Studies Departments.

Professor Lloyd Geering

Professor Lloyd Geering

Professor Lloyd Geering was a very good lecturer and very clear in his lectures on various religions, religious studies, religious paradigms and critical analysis methods of religions.

To be versed in religious studies one really needs to understand the disciplines of Philosophy, Psychology, Comparative Religion, Anthropology, Sociology, Archaeology and Science.

I understand all these disciplines but my strongest fortes are in Philosophy which was my major and in Religious Studies. I also completed two years of a Law Degree. It would take me only two years more to be a lawyer.

I started a combined Bachelor of Arts/ LLB degree in 1975 at Otago University.

It was my first real taste of freedom and we had a very active social life and then crammed for a few weeks to get the grades.

After completing the University Entrance final year of High School I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. Dad suggested a BA/LLB as a good foundation degree for anything in the business or legal fields of work. I regret not finishing the LLB because it could be handy right now and save a lot of legal fees.

Something in me found the law cold and dusty.

I’m also a highly creative man with talents in creative thinking, creative business, entrepreneurship and art.

I’m a trained sculptor having done 8 years at the Tom Bass Sculpture School. I am also skilled in oil painting, water-colour painting, life drawing, working with charcoal, pencil and crayon.

My favourite sculptors are Robert Klippel, Australia’s greatest sculptor by far.

Robert Klippel 1

Robert Klippel

klippel 2 klippel 1

Another favourite of mine is Giacometti, a Swiss-Italian and one of the greatest modern sculptors of all time.

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Giacometti. Charcoal with acrylics.

He lived like Picasso in the twentieth century. A lot of people understandably think of Picasso as a painter. If you’ve ever been to the Reina Gallery in Madrid and seen Guernica you’ll understand why. It’s amazing.

Picasso is one of my favourite painters, drawers, ceramicists and sculptors.

But having said that it’s hard to distinguish among the greats of Art.

picasso 4

picasso 2 picasso 3

Take Salvador Dali for example, another Spanish genius. Picasso spent most of his life in Paris but Salvador Dali was a Catalan at heart and stayed in that region.

Later in his life he moved back to his home town Figueres and converted the town’s Theatre, a very beautiful old building into a display of his life’s work.

Salvador Dali’s Theatre at Figures is one of the gems of the art world.

dali 7dali 6dali 5dali 2 dali 3

Another Spanish Genius is the Architect Gaudi, also a Catalan, who lived his life in Barcelona, a truly amazing city, as fun as Madrid.

Gaudi left behind the incomplete the Sacrada La Familia, a Cathedral that is still being completed one hundred years later. If you’re anywhere near Barcelona it’s a must see.

Gaudi’s  houses, apartments and public facilities and other architectural projects are also a treat.

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Antonio Gaudi of Barcelona

Antonio Gaudi of Barcelona

Another great from Spain is Goya, a father of modern art and revered in Spain.

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Although modern art developed through men like Picasso, Giacometti, Salvador Dali and the Surrealists, the British Sculptor Henry Moore and myriad others, for the art world is very immense and complex, the roots of modern art can be traced to men like Goya, Van Gogh, Cezanne from Aix En Province in South France, another very charming town, the Impressionists like Monet, Matisse, De Lacroix, Manet and untold others.

cezanne 1 cezanne 2



There is something in the wild and emotional Spanish soul that produces truly great highly creative works of genius.

Below: Goya, Salvador Dali and Picasso. The three giants of Spanish Art.



Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali

Picasso. Part of Guernica, the famous war protest painting which hangs in the Reina in Madrid.

Picasso. Part of Guernica, the famous war protest painting which hangs in the Reina in Madrid.