Thursday, March 05, 2009

Surrealism and Seawitch

Tuesday I went to see an exhibition on New Zealand Surrealist paintings at the Hastings Art Gallery. It was a fascinating collection including work from many Kiwi artists including Sylvia Siddell, Heather Busch and even Raymond Ching. Surrealism is quite a challenging genre and I think you need to be slightly weird to get it (explains why I like it anyway). For example there was a large wooden panel of a Dalek but instead of the usual dome with a plunger sticking out the front at the top there was the Beehive (the home of the NZ Government) and replacing the half rounded mounds on the body were icons of Kiwiana including a paua, a Kiwi's head etc. What occurred to me was how well painted all the works were. Many were photo realistic but their subject matter was very "out there". The prices were also in outer space with some work priced at $18,000 to $38,000!

Our model didn't turn up again yesterday so some of the portraitists took turns to pose. After lunch Donna gave a few of us an hour long demonstration of watercolour techniques which went some way to solve many of the problems I used to have when using this medium. The only thing that really puts me off going back to it is that watercolours have to be mounted and framed which can prove very expensive.
Before heading home we went to Electra Gallery to see every one's Art Hawkes Bay entries. Gay and I were chuffed that our paintings were hung side by side. Unfortunately mine needs natural light to reflect on all the gold paint in it so didn't show up as well as it does here. However I think Seawitch a bit too way out to appeal to any local buyers so it probably doesn't matter.

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