Graduates get together again

23:38, Feb 19 2013
Sue Garlick
CROSSING THAT BRIDGE: Sandra Mead, left, Eric Huckle, Sue Hayde, Lisa White and Helen Grant with work from their exhibition at the Refinery Art Space.

A group of artists from the Nelson region has crossed paths more than three years after graduating from the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. Anna Pearson reports:

It's simple, really, says Eric Huckle: "I just thought it would be a nice thing to do."

Huckle completed a bachelor of arts and media at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology in 2009.

He arranged an exhibition at the Refinery Artspace, entitled Crossing, in which he's joined by six fellow graduates: Sandra Mead, Sue Hayde, Lisa White, Helen Grant, Sandy Paterson and Doti Young.

There was no brief, it was "just to see where we were at three years later".

Huckle, a carpenter, paints about two or three times a week.


He says he enjoys "trying to get to a new place every time" with his work. "I just paint whatever I feel like painting at the time."

Sandra Mead, a retiree of Mahana, has contributed an array of textile works, including pink flamingo sculptures made from old coat material and recycled gloves.

She has also made a work featuring a replica baby, which she bought off Trade Me, inside a glass case.

"I don't know whether to be fascinated or horrified. They [replica babies] are so real that they're creepy," she said.

"Some people find it quite normal to make replica babies, and to stuff animals. People will dress up animals. They think of them as people. People get their babies' hands and feet cast in bronze, and hang them on the wall. It fascinates me - the strange things people do."

Sue Hayde, who works in the kitchen at Outward Bound in Anakiwa, did a teaching diploma after leaving NMIT. Her charcoal drawings are about journeys that people take, "which are often uncertain or dangerous".

Hayde says she discovered her passion for drawing at NMIT, and she plans to do a lot more.

"I have got marks all over the floor, and I have worn the skin off my fingers - rubbing the charcoal."

Lisa White, who has a studio gallery in Tapawera, has contributed paintings that combine the Victorian era with futurism.

She has been entering a variety of competitions since graduating, to get exposure in bigger centres.

Helen Grant, of Nelson, completed a certificate in small business management after leaving NMIT.

She said getting her bachelor of arts and media before that was a "huge" achievement, as she was dyslexic.

The course gave her confidence as an artist, and to try new things, such as the floral decoupage pieces she made for the Refinery show.