First-time exhibitor wins at art awards

2018 First Overall Winner Nour Hassan with her artwork ‘Beat’.   Photo / Kris Boult

An artist exhibiting her work for the first time beat off a record number of entrants to win a Taranaki arts event.

Nour Hassan’s painting, ‘Beat’, was judged the best among 87 mixed media entries at Hāwera’s Lysaght Watt Trust awards on May 3.

The theme this year was ‘Rising’, and Hassan, of Auckland, submitted a picture of a woman’s face coming out of the water.

“I just drove down as I wanted to be part of my first exhibition, so it feels pretty awesome and really surreal to have won this,” she said.

“I didn’t know I’d won it till I got here today.”

She said the painting is part of a series and the inspiration came from her own relationship with water.

Hassan took up painting because she wanted her work to connect to people.

The awards have been running since 2013 and Lysaght Watt Gallery chairperson Lynne Walker said they usually attracted around 70 entries.

She put this year’s increase in numbers down to the ‘Rising’ theme.

“It’s a theme which obviously appealed to a wide range of people as we’ve had entries from Dunedin right through to Northland,” she said.

Judge Bill Millbank, from Whanganui, choose the winners of six categories, which included both 3D and 2D awards as well as best local artist award.

A final category, the people’s choice award, will be chosen by people who attend the gallery exhibition, which runs from May 4 until June 10.

Millbank said women and their struggles was a common theme in a lot of the work and making the final decision wasn’t easy.

“A good 20 or 30 of the works stood out almost immediately,” he said.

“There were some very good paintings and works but in the end the you have to make a personal choice and the one that spoke to me the most won out.

“Although I’m not sure everyone will agree with my selection as it’s extremely subjective.”

Walker also announced the theme for the 2019 competition will be ‘Time Out’.

Source: First-time exhibitor wins at art awards |

“Artists work with different materials to weave exhibition together”

Photo by Jane Matthews

A great article in the Taranaki Daily News and South Taranaki Star last week – all about our current Fibre Force show.

For more info on the show, go here.

Spinning is not just about jumpers and socks – it’s a whole other world.

Isla Fabu has spun everything from muka (fibre from flax) to alpaca fur to grass – all of which you can see at the Lysaght Watt Gallery’s latest exhibition.

She calls herself a spin artist and is one of the eight Taranaki fibre artists who currently have their work on display in Fibre Force at the gallery in Hāwera.

“Spinning is not just about jumpers and socks,” Fabu said.

“There’s a whole other world.”

Whether it’s from the land, or an animal, Fabu has probably experimented with spinning the fibre, or using local plants to dye the material, to eventually create one of her many different pieces.

She currently has Christmas decorations – or egg cosies, depending on how you look at it – as well as decorations for the home and more on display.

The Fibre Force exhibition is on until December 23 and showcases the use of natural fibre, using skills to create a range of both functional and art pieces.

The exhibition holds examples of knitting, weaving, felting and more from six New Plymouth artists, one from Opunake and Fabu from Hāwera.

Fibre Force is ‘hands on’ which means visitors will be able to see and touch the pieces.

Most art work is on sale and the exhibition is cash and carry – right in time for Christmas.

There are purchasable garments, accessories, jewellery, soft furnishings, wall hangings and art works.

Beth Pottinger-Hockings, Debbie Dawson, Diane Toole, Janette Theobald, Lynne Mackay, Pam Robinson, Sally Hikaka and Fabu have works on display.

Some of them will be doing demonstrations of spinning, weaving, felting or knitting in the gallery on December 9 and 16 and the community is welcome to watch.

The gallery is open 10am – 4pm during the week and 10am -1pm Saturday.

Source: Artists work with different materials to weave exhibition together |

News article delves into Viv Davy’s show

An article on Thursday in the Taranaki Daily News/South Taranaki Star delves into Viv Davy’s latest exhibition at our gallery. The article provides some insight into the inspiration and motivations behind Viv’s art.

Who needs paint when you have flowers and copper?

Artwork created and coloured from nothing more than nature is currently on display at a Hawera gallery.

“Everything is a natural fibre, there’s no synthetic fibres, there’s no synthetic colours, it’s all natural it’s all from a natural source – plants – there’s no animals,” fibre artist Viv Davy said.

Ōpūnake-based Davy is exhibiting her natural works at an exhibition called The State of Play: Exploratory Makings at the Lysaght Watt Gallery in Hāwera.

She has a range of art on display that she prepared specifically for the exhibition this year.

“This is work that I’ve done based on my engagement with the South Taranaki environment,” Davy said.

“So it’s all centred on responding to the landscape and the ocean and the wind and all those things.”

Davy first got involved in fibre art because she wanted to weave. Her inspiration for this exhibition was the district.

“South Taranaki is my inspiration – it’s wonderful and wild, always changing and full of energy.

“The light is very special and the colours are very special.”

Davy has used everything from naturally dried silk, to cotton, to thread and more for materials. Then leaves, fennel, roses, copper and more to colour the works.

“All the pigments in all of the work in this exhibition have been created from local plants,” she said.

One of Davy’s newest experiments is a series of books.

The blank books are created and stitched together. They’re made from wool, cotton, linen and “everything under the sun really,” Davy said.

“Each page is different, each page is a piece of art in its own right.”

A few of her pieces are inspired by spring.

“The new growth and the soft colours that happen in spring time so those are all the colours derived from flowers,” she said.

She said these works were quite different from what she has exhibited in the past.

Davy will be giving an artists talk on Saturday October 14 at 11am and the public is welcome to attend. She will talk about her inspirations and processes that she uses to create her works.

The exhibition is on display in the gallery on Union Street until October 28.

Source: Nature and everything natural inspires Ōpūnake artist |

Collections exhibition featured in the Taranaki Daily News

Our Collections exhibition, curated by Michaela Stoneman, was featured in the Taranaki Daily News and Taranaki Star this week. “Bits and pieces from people’s homes are the basis of a new art exhibition.” And there’s only 8 days left to go! Last day Saturday 2nd September.

Bits and pieces from people’s homes are the basis of a new art exhibition.

The Lysaght Watt Gallery’s current exhibition Collections has come from local private collectors and archives and exhibition curator Michaela Stoneman said there was a large variety of art on display until September 2.

“The exhibition shows five distinctly different collections by three private South collectors, one from Whanganui who collects many of her treasures from South Taranaki and the archive from Aotea Utanganui – Museum of South Taranaki,” Stoneman said.

Linda Morrison from Tairoa Lodge in Hawera collects paintings by well known English-born painter Bernard Aris who spent most of his life in Taranaki.

Stoneman said many of the works in this selection were borrowed from members of her family because they all had a close personal connection with Aris.

“My husband Steve and I have always been interested in paintings of the mountain,” Morrison said. “We’ve always felt that Bernard Aris captured the shape so well and it looked so real and lifelike.”

Stoneman said another collector, who prefers to remain anonymous, has more than 100 paintings covering the walls of her home.

The works show a wide range of styles that reflect her love of the diverse New Zealand landscape and interesting faces.

She said she “finds treasures at galleries, art auctions” and in her travels.

Nicky Gerard collects mid-century fabrics and papers from auctions, op shops and specialty events like ‘Fabricabrac’.

The colours and patterns draw her in and she is constantly refining her collection.

“Colour is very important to me, it influences my mood,” Gerard said. “On a dreary day I can roll out a paper and the colours will enliven and entertain.”

Stoneman herself is another exhibitor who acquired her pieces from giving and swapping art work.

“This selection of works from our home collection have been either gifted to us or I have swapped with artist friends,” she said.

“Our collection of artwork reflects different times in our life together, places we have been and the wonderful people who we have the pleasure of knowing.”

The last collection comes from Livingston Baker Archive and Reading Room at Aotea Utanganui the Museum of South Taranaki.

The archives include archives, maps, photographs, publications, films and videos from a range of categories.

– Stuff

Source: Five works come in as one |

Recent Work – Kevin Bone

Award-winning South Taranaki photographer Kevin Bone’s latest offering is on display at the Lysaght Watt gallery in Hawera.

The exhibition, Recent Work, features the artist’s trademark old building captured against a glittering, evening background as well as shots from around the region and abroad.

In addition to Bone’s work, the exhibition features a retrospective show of his grandfather, William Bloy’s photography which was rescued from going to the tip.

Oozing nostalgia, the photos taken in southern Otago show circus visits, town parades, scenic shots and ships at the port of Dunedin.

On Sunday, July 30 Bone will speak about his work from 4pm to 6pm at the gallery.

– South Taranaki Star, July 25 2017

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so Kevin Bone took it to the next step and created an art exhibition.

Bone’s exhibition is currently on display at the Lysaght Watt Art Gallery in Hawera and is a mix of his recent photography, and his grandfather’s photography from the 1950s.

“I’d always known that the slides were there, I remember always going through it when I was a kid and investigating it,” Bone said.

“Maybe that’s why I got into photography.”

His grandfather, William Bloy, had taken “thousands” of coloured photographs of scenery, family and events in the south of the South Island more than 60 years ago.

“He was a child prodigy. He could play the violin when he was four, he was an artist,” Bone said.

“He’s got an artist’s eye, a very keen artist’s eye.”

Bone said his grandfather’s photographic slides had been passed down the family until they sat in a garage for years.

“They were going to be biffed and I rescued them,” he said.

Bone said he never truly appreciated the slides until recently. His favourite photograph is the elephant at a circus.

“It’s just a social statement. Imagine doing that now,” he said.

There were also multiple photographs of bare land, which Bone said were the “most valuable” pieces of real estate in New Zealand now.

Bone’s photographs are from around Taranaki, and also overseas.

“This is my journey, and it’s really trying to find things that people aren’t photographing,” he said.

“I like the idea of abandonment, and its history.”

A few of his photographs were from his time in Tonga where he went swimming with whales. “I was right beside the mother whale, which was the size of a bus, and her calf, the size of a sedan.”

As president of the Hawera Camera Club, Bone has a great input and recently helped bring home awards for the annual interclub competition between the region’s four photography-loving groups.

The Hawera club won first place in the Club Set Prints, and an individual won the Overall Champion Print too.

Bone’s exhibition runs at the gallery until August 5.

Source: Photos about to be ‘biffed’ now displayed in exhibition |