Vast array of talent combines for annual show

JUDITH RITCHIE
Last updated 14:08 23/01/2013
Ebbe Munk
PATRICK HAMILTON/FAIRFAX NZ
WORKS OF ART: Visual Art Society Tapawera members Dawn Farnsworth, left, Kaye Register, Joan Hancock, Steve Parry, Shirley Percy, and Margaret Budgen.

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A group of artists from the Tapawera area are busy doing the finishing touches before their annual exhibition opens on Friday. Under the title of VAST ( Visual Art Society Tapawera ) members of the group will show a diverse range of work from painting, fibre art, metalwork and woodwork to felting and more.

Founding member Kaye Register says: "We have been running now for 10 years and still the talent of new and established artists continues to develop and to amaze all those who come, some every year since our opening." Register says that the group came about through the Tapawera District Community Council gaining funds to run an art exhibition.

Interested artists collaborated with the TDCC on this for the first year forming the VAST group as a community focus for artists to exhibit and showcase Tapawera and artists in the area.

All of the 16- strong group are very busy with work commitments, on dairy farms, as full-time shearers, berry pickers or farmers, so they mainly focus on working toward their annual exhibition.

Some have other groups they meet with, such as the fibre artists who sometimes have a working session together, but mostly they work independently.

This year the guest artist is Sandra Mead, who specialises in what she calls "meaningful recycling" of handcrafts, particularly doilies and embroidery, made into three dimensional art objects.

"I like to recycle because of the work that's gone into them," says Mead. "When I grew up, knitting, crochet, sewing; everything was made at home." She now re-invents these domestic items so that the viewer engages with her creations in a new light. Doilies are made into three dimensional teacups and saucers, or embroidered table mats transform into coffee mugs. Once seen as domestic chores made for practical reasons, the traditional techniques are still evident, but they are presented in a contemporary manner. Mead aims to challenge perceptions about domestic homeware and "stretch" people's view on them as a domestic chore made for necessity.

VAST Exhibition opens Friday January 25 at the Shedwood Hall, Main Rd, Tapawera at 7pm. All welcome. Open daily 10am-5pm, to February 4.

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