Street-Art & Driftwood

 The working studio of British born artists, Jack Marsden-Mayer and Cracked Ink (Simon Ormerod) is an artwork in itself. An expansive warehouse space with artworks crawling up the walls, filling the table tops and spreading across the floor in various stages of completion.

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The pair moved to New Zealand, and then to Whanganui independently of each other but had been friends for many years, including back home in the UK. Although they work in very different mediums and produce distinctly different styles of work, there are areas where Marsden-Mayer and Cracked Ink’s studio practice overlap. Most noticeably, both often work with found materials, weather collected and repurposed or modified where it stands. Marsden-Mayer’s has spent many years amassing a vast array of driftwood in all shapes and sizes, which he then uses to create his larger than life animal sculptures. Cracked Ink works in every scale from large murals to small pieces on found and repurposed objects. In fact, Cracked Ink seems happy to work on almost any surface, coating it in his fun and quirky characters. Whether working in black and white or bold colours, Cracked Ink’s work is full of personality and packs a visual punch.

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Both men have built successful careers around their creativity, grown from the combination of highly creative minds paired with an education in the arts (Marsden-Mayer studied sculpture at Gordonstoun International School and Ormerod studied Graphic Design from the University of Lancaster) and a cheerful, approachable manner. During Artists Open Studios Whanganui Bedford Studios will not only hold work by Marsden-Mayer and Cracked Ink, but will also be hosting creations by a selection of their friends who work in diverse media and styles. Bedford Studios is number 32 in the 2016 Artist Open Studios Whanganui Trail guide.

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Serena Siegenthaler-Brown

Heina Petzold and Eva Busch

Hi everybody,

We are professional artists new ‘on the block’ and our names are Heina Petzold and Eva Busch. Yes, we are Germans by birth but have been in New Zealand since the early 80’s.

We arrived in Whanganui 8 months ago after a short stint in Marlborough and a 12 year “stint” on Waiheke Island where we successfully ran our very own art studio and gallery in Oneroa. Our growing desire to be closer to family (daughter/grandchildren) as well as the promising changes in the local arts development led to our decision to finally relocate to beautiful Whanganui for good. This beautiful little city truly is a well kept secret.

An artistic response to the great  flood of 2015. By Heina Petzold.    Second Overall at National Mosaic  Exhibition Pataka 2015

We are keen to share our vast professional experience and knowledge in the art field (37 and 30 years respectively) with the local arts community. We love to interact with people. We are passionate about Whanganui’s true potential to become one of the most interesting and unique art destinations New Zealand has to offer. It is exciting and very encouraging to see that also the local Council has been recognizing this and is actively supporting that potential.

JUST CRUISIN by Heina Petzold  Jewellery grade copper enamelsI, Heina, am a jeweller, and have made a name for myself as an award winning contemporary, large scale copper-enamel artist, the one and only in New Zealand.

 

I, Eva have a fine arts degree and am an award winning stone sculptor, well known for my profound sense of harmony and bMOMENT OF STILLNESS   Life size  sculpture by Eva Buschalance in my creative expressions. I love the challenge of capturing the emotional essence of a subject which at times has touched people deeply. I work equally well in figurative and abstract styles and my works are very smooth and tactile and a must to be touched. Much of my work nowadays is made to order.

 

Our creations have been purchased by many New Zealand and international customers and private collectors. Works are on display in Adelaide, Sydney, New York, Berlin, Heidelberg, Amsterdam, Lausanne and Singapore just to name a few.

We also have had an extensive career in art events management on a national (11 events) and international level (representing New Zealand in Australia, Germany and Singapore).

You are warmly invited to check us out at our current studio and gallery situated in a park like setting on 76 Virginia Road.

We are open 10am to 5pm this Sat and Sun. Eftpos, Visa and Master card are accepted.

For more information on the unique art form of enamelling go to www.heinapetzold.co.nz or  www.artshow.co.nz/gallery/heina+petzold

We can’t wait to meet you all.

Eva Busch and Heina Petzold

Tejomani Earl and Raymond de la Haye

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Tejomani has followed a Buddhist path for over 30 years with meditation being the game changer in her life . She aspires to live more fully in accordance with Reality.

This affects her process as an artist as she attempts not to construe. She does not render or elucidate because she wants no tidy fixed explanation. Instead she seeks a sense of emergence. She starts by clearing her thought and aligning it to the white surface. An emptiness and into this she applies colour. She pushes it and pulls it in a very kinaesthetic response until she sees something and then she says it often changes and transmutes. Sometimes seeming unfinished or waiting for the next change.

Tejomani gestures from the ground raising her hands upwards and speaks about the manner in which art can facilitate transcendence.

On her wall I see several particularly abstract works that she says are her ‘Bodhisattva’ series. A Bodhisattva is a person who has vowed (over lifetimes) to awaken : an aspiration to be fulfilled for the benefit of others (a Noble Quest).

Another painting that flirts with representation has two figures silhouetted into a green and watery paint-scape as an emptiness (the figures are not actually there). This work is titled “Inconspicuous Communication”.

Yet another painting is a delightful play with coloured stripes which Tejomani describes as reference to Tibetan customary aprons worn by women, as seen on her recent visit to Tibet this year.

These are unpretentious works while being abstract, from the moment I first glimpsed Tejomani’s work the mysticism and core spiritual influence have shone through. In my humble opinion Tejomani’s work juxtaposes and is complimented by her partner and fellow artist Raymond de la Haye’s work.

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The studio is situated at a property on the cusp of Papaiti opposite the cemetery alongside the life giving Whanganui River. Raymond built his Gothic influenced home himself with stunning features including a turret, leadlight windows and a Gothic arched front doorway worthy of a Lairds court.

Raymond describes a long history of resonating with mythological and fantasy themes. He has an affinity to medieval handcrafts and shadow realms.

Raymond’s earliest sculptures explore themes of death paying homage to ‘Dante’s Inferno’ and Paul Rodin’s ‘Gates of Hell’. Further along the garden trail is a bust of a German Soldier again referencing the ‘unknown soldier’ and the excavations of unmarked graves, those families never reunited with their lost kin sent to war, the very image further layered with symbolic shame and taboo themes of genocide and death.
Turning the corner in this garden and I discover a nymph bust and an urn worthy of Dionysus or Bacchus. Then a pair of gargoyles stand sentinel protecting the home facing a third larger gargoyle with wide wings and brimming mischief.

Raymond describes the influence of Tejomani on his work and the heart opening influenceof her eastern philosophy and practices. Weaving into this mythological landscape is a figure with a topknot – a holy man – a ‘Saddhu’.

Other recent works connect strongly to this place Whanganui and the history of New Zealand, the image of Raymond shows him beside a work comprised of a half Pakeha half Maori male figure framed in a Nikau frond with a plaque that reads ‘Coming together as one, Battle of Moutoa, 1864’

There is so much more to describe but I think it is best you travel to #4 Flemmington Road and enter through the columned gate to discover a garden in bloom, tended by two gems who share their work which is unabashedly mystical at its core.

Jacqueline Brand-Holt

Esther Newrick

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Esther Newrick studied art at the Polytech 20 years ago and she remembers there being great energy around the arts especially the Summer School art programmes. She went abroad and spent 15 years in London driving busses before returning to Whanganui. She wanted to drive a bus when she was a child and even now her other job is as a library assistant where she sometimes drives the Library Bus.

Being a bus driver affords one the opportunity to observe people and scenarios, the sort that inspires Esther’s art.

Esther’s work is mostly painting but she uses mixed media especially for texture. Her images are mainly figures and flowers. She creates for fun and joy. She says she is serious about the execution and the making but not so serious about her subject matter. Normally there is someone Esther is thinking of when she creates her paintings which have titles like ‘I will catch you’.

Two especially large square paintings are titled ‘The Melancholic’ and ‘The Sanguine’. Her Melancholic people wander in an up and down landscape with a grey atmosphere and pronounced raindrops falling down. Whereas the Sanguine people are weightless jumping and dancing in an ‘annoyingly’ groundless scene, they are up in the air and surrounded by fluffy white light filled clouds. I ask Esther what inspired these paintings and she laughs saying “I am a Melancholic in a family of Sanguine”. She has her own playfulness though as these two paintings she has kept secret and plans to surprise her family who will visit her studio over these weekends.

After visiting the Artists Open Studios in 2014 she decided to participate in 2015 and this is now her second year. Last year Esther experimented with some printed merchandise and she will again have mugs, cards and magnets of selected works for sale.

Jacqueline Brand-Holt

Jenny Brown

Jenny Brown studied Textile Design during the 1980’s under the tutelage of great New Zealand artists like John Drawbridge and Kate Coolahan. The Wellington Polytech School of Design taught painting, photography, printmaking and explored weaving, cloth, fibre and felt at the same time.

In that era Textile Design led towards developing NZ products of the Wool Industries; wallpapers involving pattern repeats and print techniques for fabric designs.

Jenny moved into Interior Design for almost a decade before returning to Art. She paints and photographs and naturally uses textiles as her preferred medium. This is her sixth year participating in the Artists Open Studios Whanganui.

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Her pieces this year are influenced by some cardboard printmaking plates her daughter created years ago. There were figures in these images. Imaginative people, tall and leggy, long armed without faces, they are theatrical doodle figures. Jenny replicates these as three dimensional forms using vintage fabrics and embellishes them like costumes. She describes a NZ Ballet Production of Peter Pan she saw years ago with the same daughter and how the costumer had vines wrapping around and up Peter Pan’s legs and torso. This influence while embellishing has her naming these her ‘Theatre People’.

Textile art is not a craft in Jenny’s view in fact she is not sure what ‘craft’ actually signifies. To explain fine artist William Morris was lauded with the Arts and Crafts Movement – an international movement in both the decorative and fine arts. An example here in New Zealand we praise the creations of Merrilyn George, an Oakune quilt maker and her work is exhibited like paintings in galleries. In the USA, the quilt industry is worth more than US $1.3 billion dollars per annum with individual pieces valued up to $10,000.00 each. This growing appreciation for textile and fibre art is splendid.

Jacqueline Brand-Holt

Artemisia Garden Studio

MarionMarion Davidson is from Whanganui. Her father taught art at the Technical college and she deliberately avoided art as a career choice to start with but when she was in her late twenties this all changed, she was moving around a lot overseas and there she found her inspiration to make art. She moved back to New Zealand with her husband and once they had small children she returned to Whanganui being closer to family support.

Whanganui was already a creative hub with well established arts when Marion grew up here, she had a life as a musician before and talks about the Polytech’s influence and especially Opera Week as being rich foundations for Whanganui’s cultural depth. “This place may be smaller than others but if you’ve got talent there is a lot you can do with it here.”

When Marion started working as an Artist she was also teaching and parenting. She created portraits on commission, watercolour landscapes and Whanganui seascapes. Then she decided to do a Graduate Diploma in Fine Art at UCOL and chose printmaking as her medium. At the time she
thought that printmaking might inform her watercolours but after having completed her course she says in fact watercolours are coming into her printmaking.  Marion describes with animation the rich influence that Asia has had on her recent art and imagery, the printmakers and the landscape.

The works she is making now are ‘Innerscapes’ where Marion uses landscapes and figures to tell stories about human experiences. “They are escapes”, for her own struggles she says. ‘Dark Spaces’ she describes the scenes as caves that one crawls into but not finding the way out. In ‘Dilemma’ a small figure is caught in a sharp landscape like large teeth in the jaws of a leviathan. Her titles convey the feelings the images convey the scenario.

Fine Art is characterised by study and skill leading to a highly developed craft which expresses the inner person. It provides joy, pleasure and intellectual stimulation which relate to our humanity. The value is intrinsic in a way that cannot always be explained in words the same way that singing creates this exchange for the listener. While Arts’ intrinsic purpose is not just to make money, people buying art is important for the artist as a form of recognition for what they offer.

“I called my studio Artemisia as a reference to Artemisia Gentilischi, an Italian woman artist who overcame amazing odds to paint and be accepted by the art establishment of the time. She painted mostly Biblical scenes containing strong, “real” women, as opposed to the waifish, idealised and weak-seeming ladies popularly depicted by male painters. Take a look at “Judith Slaying Holofernes” and you’ll see what I mean. Given that Artemisia was raped by a jealous art student of her father’s, I can understand the ferocity and strength of her depictions. I was raised in a world where male college students did “Art” and the girls did “Craft”. Everything was male-orientated and being a stroppy dame, this got me jumping right from an early age. Hence my affinity with Artemisia.”

Jacqueline Brand-Holt

Make your own art Artists Open Studios

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The ‘make your own’ Printmaking experience has been a highlight for many years in the Artists Open Studios Whanganui this year there are a few options to fill that space.

Sue Cooke will be offering small groups a condensed one hour experiential session for just $30 all material provided. She will walk you through draw, paint and print making. Bookings are essential as her sessions will start on the hour and the price includes a raffle ticket for an original Sue Cooke etching. Sue Cooke is a founding member of the Artists Open Studios Whanganui now in its 15th successful year.

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For something a little alternative try letterpress or the satisfying clack-clack of a typewriter. Printmaker and computer graphics specialist Jo Giddens, who is part of the Firestation Workrooms collective, will share her love of analogue media. It is this exchange of enthusiasm that makes the Artists Open Studios so wonderful. Locals and visitors are treated to an abundance of art and given access to explore and engage with the artists.

Neil Buddle brings lino print to the fore, he will be demonstrating the techniques and if a person is interested they can have a go. “It’s all about de-mystifying the process” says Neil, “most people recognise the technique from their childhood.” Neil has a press but this can be done without a press and using floor linoleum at a pinch “it’s just so accessible”.

Many visitors are thrilled to make their own work. Some take this as inspiration to make more. Some learn through this experience to appreciate more what Artists do. Some unfortunately believe that if it is that easy then it is somehow worth less and they then undervalue the work of Artists. In a world filled with mechanical produce art is more precious than ever because it represents among many things the ‘care of making’.

Jacqueline Brand-Holt