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‘I believe it’s art’

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

One man’s discarded art is another man’s treasure.

This is the case for a new exhibition at Carterton’s Heart of Arts titled Found in the Wairarapa and I believe it’s Art.

The volunteer-run arts hub went on a Wairarapa-wide search for artworks at op shops, garage sales, and school fairs to track down interesting works and exhibit them for sale as a fundraiser.

Heart of Arts coordinator Gill Heath said it was Carterton artist Jen Magnus who brought forward the concept for the exhibition after hearing of it being done elsewhere.

“We thought it would be a good idea for a fundraiser and to have a social evening to launch it, celebrating one year of operation,” she said.

“In the year it’s been going, Heart of Arts has got bigger and better, and more artists are getting involved.

“Everybody went out hunting for found art, with artists’ names preferably, and Jen did a lot of research on those artists.

“There’s little stories with each picture, so people can read up about the artist – they may know some of them.”

White Iris, oil on canvas by Diane Squires. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
White Iris, oil on canvas by Diane Squires. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

One artwork was a Diane Squires oil painting of white iris flowers.

Squires, who lived in Carterton throughout the 1970s and 80s was a member of the Masterton Art Club and exhibited in Wellington and Wairarapa.

A catalogue of her work is held at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Taamaki.

Another one of Heath’s personal favourites was a Terence Cuneo print of The Evening Star.

She puts the challenge to those visiting the exhibition to find the hidden mouse in the picture – a signature trademark seen in many of Cuneo’s works.

The exhibition’s opening night was held last Wednesday where some of the 40 artworks were bought, “but there’s still some left for people”.

The sale profits go back into Heart of Arts, an organisation that runs under the umbrella of Toi Wairarapa.

More than 20 volunteers keep the High St shop quirky and everchanging, but new artists and new volunteers are always welcome, Heath said.

The exhibition will run until May 2.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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