Outgoing MP Chester Borrows to exhibit his paintings in Hawera art space
While others smack a few golf balls to relieve the stresses of political life, outgoing Whanganui MP Chester Borrows prefers putting paint to canvas.
Borrows is taking part in a exhibit at Hawera's Lysaght Watt Gallery in March. He, wife Ella and artist Helen Cairney will be doing a shared exhibition.
Borrows won't be seeking re-election this year, but said painting had been a good way to escape from his political life over the past 12 years.
"It's this really good way to just get outside of yourself. Some people enjoy smacking golf balls around, that's what does it for them but it doesn't do it for me," he said.
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He was hoping to have 10 artworks for the exhibition, which was a big ask for someone who on average only had time to get two or three done each year, Borrows said.
His father was an artist, but Borrows didn't purposefully pick up a paintbrush until around 12 years ago, when he was first elected to Parliament, he said.
"My father was an artist so I've always been a bit arty and creative, but I hadn't done anything in many years."
He was invited to paint a piece on a 12 inch canvas for a celebrity art exhibition in Whanganui. He chose to paint a view of the South Taranaki coast and Mt Taranaki but when he handed it into the exhibitor she asked if she could put the piece in the window.
"That afternoon the phone was ringing and she said 'I need another painting'. I was thinking oh she's dropped it or something but she said, 'I put it in the window and a lady walked in and said that's the farm where I grew up how much is it?'."
That piece sold for $150, and Borrows said it was an "endorsement" in his abilities.
Borrows paints "impressionist landscapes" which showcase different spots around the Whanganui/South Taranaki region.
His first completed piece for the upcoming exhibition is of the coastline at Ohawe Beach.
This was Borrows' second exhibition. "For my first, I didn't have on hand enough work to show so I had to borrow back a lot of pieces I had already sold," he said.