New gallery inspires

FLOWER POWER: Arrowtown-based artist Bridget Paape and one of her colourful works.
FLOWER POWER: Arrowtown-based artist Bridget Paape and one of her colourful works.

Arrowtown artist Bridget Paape is preparing for her first solo exhibition after more than two decades living in the area.

The self-taught artist has exhibited several times throughout Southland and Otago with great success but until now she has stuck to selling her works from her Arrowtown gallery Off The Wall.

"I've never exhibited on my own in Arrowtown . . . I've always sold my work in my own shop."

However, she said the new Arrowtown Art Gallery, which more recently served as the town's only petrol station, had inspired her to step up and exhibit her works.

"I went in there and said 'I love this' and Simon Beadle offered me the opportunity to exhibit in there."

Paape's was just the second exhibition at the Arrowtown Gallery which opened in November, and Mr Beadle said he expected it to be a success.

"I really like her work, they're so lovely and colourful and bright . . . Her work has great humour as well and it has come a long way in the last few years."

With just three months between the offer being made and the exhibition opening, Paape said she was under pressure to complete enough work.

"I've been working frantically to get the paintings done," she said.

Having faced a few personal challenges in recent months, Paape said her recent works were inspired by her reaction to life experiences.

Following sellout exhibitions in Riversdale and Invercargill, Paape is hoping her bright flowers and quirky landscapes are as popular with local art lovers as they are with international visitors.

The two-week Life is for Living exhibition opens tomorrow night and will include a mix of 20 original watercolours and acrylics.

Anyone interested in attending the official opening must contact the gallery.

The exhibition runs on weekdays from 10am till 4pm and weekends from 10.30am till 3pm at 8 Berkshire St.

The Southland Times