New Exhibitions Open at Lysaght Watt Gallery
Hawera’s Lysaght Watt Gallery will launch two exhibitions this month, including a touring show by Puke Ariki and large paintings by a new Eltham resident artist, Dan Mills.
The ‘Redecorating Taranaki’ project focuses on ideas around creating new community taonga.
Medals, trophies and awards in Puke Ariki’s collection tell tales of wartime bravery, sporting skill, and public recognition. They show us who we were and what values were important to us in the past. But what is important to us now? What has changed?
Taranaki jewellers Jennifer Laracy (Pungarehu) and Sam Kelly (New Plymouth) asked locals for their ideas. In 2019 they held a series of community workshops, including many at South Taranaki LibraryPlus branches, inviting people to tell us about and design a medal for someone they think deserves to be honoured. Taking inspiration from those stories and the objects in the museum’s storeroom, Jennifer and Sam have created ten new awards that represent what we value in Taranaki today. The Diversity Award, studded with Swarovski Crystal, celebrates the art of welcome and the vibrancy others bring. The Taranaki Whānau Trophy is in recognition of our role models and the ancestors who have come before us. Other values represented by the new awards include creativity, friendship, and sustainability. Crafted using a range of jewellery-making techniques and materials, the new awards presented in Redecorating Taranaki say a big thanks to everyone who makes our region such a special place.
Dan Mills will present a series of five large paintings for his exhibition. Mills is a fine art and mural painter who has recently relocated to Eltham. He is known in Hāwera for his recent murals at the Hāwera RSA building and the southern entrance rail bridge. For this show, Dan presents a suite of vibrant, large-scale oil and aerosol paintings on canvas, exploring dynamic colour fields and compositions with a hint of surrealism.
Mills says “My paintings are reactions to circumstance and surrounding. They’re emotional and intuitive rather than intellectual or pre-conceived. I work on many pieces at a time. Usually each piece starts as a chaotic and accidental series splashes and marks, then become steadily more refined, some of my canvas’ start out as drop-sheets, others occupy a space next to another work and absorb paint form the piece before it, many paintings leapfrog through my studio at a time”.
South Taranaki District Council Arts Co-ordinator Michaela Stoneman says “The visual arts can show us a lot about identity; how art can help to define who we are and how we respond to where we live, either in the context of rural communities, New Zealand or globally. It’s a pleasure to bring these two shows at our community gallery in Hāwera to celebrate our diversity and showcase exceptional work”.
All are welcome at the opening at 6.00 pm, Tuesday 9 March - come along, enjoy refreshments, and meet the artists behind the work. Exhibition runs until 31 March 2021 at Lysaght Watt Gallery, 4-6 Union St, Hāwera (beside the Hāwera Town Square).
Redecorating Taranaki / Dan Mills: Large Paintings
10- 31 March 2018 - Opening: 6pm Tuesday 9 March 2021- All welcome
Lysaght Watt Gallery, 4 - 6 Union St, Hawera. Open: Mon - Fri 10am – 4pm Sat 10am - 1pm