Kelman captures the spontaneity of life
The works of a man known as the "artists' artist" are on display in an exhibition at the Art Asylum art gallery.
The John Kelman artist profile chronicles nearly 30 years of art produced by the Temuka artist. It features 54 drawings of mixed media.
"I like experimenting. I like movement," he told The Timaru Herald yesterday.
"My general aim is to express my feelings, moods and happenings, these either seen or inspired.
"That's the most valuable thing; when something from me comes out. People are often my subjects, their humanity, vulnerability and beingness."
Some pieces capture events, such as the Opihi River floods in 1986 and more recently the Christchurch earthquakes, and others are inspired by everyday scenes like children playing rugby and a cat stalking a bird.
Mr Kelman took up art after leaving school. While working on a North Otago farm he began a correspondence art course.
"It covered everything. It was something to do while I was working on the farm."
He took art classes with Colin Wheeler in Oamaru and in 2001 he won the Telecom Art Award for the Timaru-Oamaru phone-book cover.
Mr Kelman's works are regularly exhibited at the York Street Gallery, and Saffron and Aigantighe art galleries.
He says he prefers drawing to painting as drawing allowed him to capture the spontaneity of the subject.
"In painting you have to dress it up. With drawing I try to get it spontaneous. I dress my images in working clothes, rather than fashionable ones."
Art Asylum founder Annie Lambourne said Mr Kelman was a regular visitor to Handles and Art Supplies which occupies the same building as the gallery. One day he had brought in a sample of his work and she immediately started planning an exhibition, which will run for six weeks.
- © Fairfax NZ News