News on what our artists have been up to on lockdown
Kay Turner Jeweller/Maker
With this pause on daily life I have found myself reflecting and looking for the silver lining.
While we can’t get out socially connecting with new people hasn’t stopped. I have joined an online collective that promotes each other’s work through social media - it’s exciting meeting new artists.
Making wise – having a huge chunk of spare time should turn out to be fruitful. As I slow down it is a perfect chance to detach from consumerism. With the gallery doing well my making was often more about the end product which was wonderful, but now I have time to return to using inspiration to play and mould an idea into something tangible.
I’ve been looking at how I can make gorgeous adornment without metal as the supplier is closed and playing with eco dyeing papers to get new effects.
There is also much talk about projects that can generate a resurgence in attracting people to our region and maybe a group exhibition when all this is over. It feels good and optimistic to have something to talk about, plan for and look forward to. Maybe it will be a big mural of hand sanitizer on a cracked peeling wall. In saying all this if none of my plans come to fruition I am not going to be hard myself we are all trying to frantically stitch our safety blankets up and it isn’t easy. Creativity may not immediately be able to flourish, but I think once the mind has time to catch up some new exciting work will eventuate - watch this space.
Sue Rutherford Ceramic Artist
Sue's COVID-19 saga is more dramatic than most…..
Being caught in England as the borders closed Sue finally arrived in Auckland only to find she had to isolate for 14 days’ miles from home and her studio in a major city under lockdown.
While I had plenty of time on my hands I didn’t have time to gather materials around me in preparation for a 2-week isolation let alone finding the right headspace. I found that whilst I had good internet allowing me to read and look at art for inspiration online I just wasn’t “calm enough” for that kind of quiet focus. Even housecleaning which seems to be everyone’s go to for the first few days of lockdown wasn’t an option in my tiny flat in an Auckland suburb. Once isolation rules allowed for a short walk, I instantly headed for the door and took advantage of the neighbourhood including hiking to the top of Mt Eden, soaking up the views over a very quiet Auckland, and exploring the surrounding leafy suburbs - a sharp contrast to the ochre mountain landscape from my studio.
O the joy to finally arrive home and get into my studio where I am enjoying every moment of freedom and am busy experimenting with glazes and should have some process images I can share on our Facebook page shortly. I have a solo coming up that I am hoping I can present online if we can’t be physically open.
Ro Bradshaw Mixed media artist
I have been embracing the new slowness, taking this time to experiment with new processes. A lockdown can have its upside for artists, like me, who are mostly proficient in the creation of major chaos. With excuses on hold, this has been a good time to tidy up the studio and sort things out. During the process, I rekindled several sources of inspiration including the postcard below, purchased at Palmerston North airport and, apparently, very popular with tourists; will be a while before these are popular again. I have also rediscovered some iron for rusting and have located and prepared several “just in case” old substrates, some 20 years old, and am hoping to put them to good use. I am missing the trips to my favourite places to rummage and collect which my family misinterpret as hoarding but relooking at what I have on hand has refocused me and I have some good pieces in the making. There has also been time to mooch and watch old films and read lots of books, thanks to Queenstown Library and the free apps Bolinda BorrowBox and Beamafilm.