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Audrey crafting her wonderland

A colourful realm of ceramic characters and creatures has been carved and shaped by the 93-year-old hands of Masterton artist Audrey Hall.

Hall’s solo art show, “Wonderland”, is on at King Street Artworks in Masterton until May 31. As of Monday, 16 pieces had sold.

In scenes imagined by Hall, many based on nursery rhymes or fairytales, Peter Pumpkin Eater’s wife is kept inside a giant vegetable; a man chops down the Tree of Life atop a tower called “Genesis and Destruction”; and Adam and Eve encounter the serpent – in this case, the Garden of Eden is half a green apple encasing the couple and their tormenter.

Standout pieces in the show include circular ceramic books depicting the stories of Les Misérables [a novel by Victor Hugo, first read by Hall 70 years ago] and the Greek legend Theseus and the Minotaur; both pieces comprising fanned sections packed with figures. Hall can tell both stories in detail.

Elsewhere in the gallery, a dragon sits with its mouth hinged open, as a mouse goes to work on the beast’s rows of teeth in “Dragon at the Dentist”one of the pieces that sold straight away.

Rows of Hall’s interpretations of characters from Alice in Wonderland and Wind in the Willows line the walls. Red Riding Hood, Paddington Bear, Little Boy Blue and many companions pop against the white background.

A lighthouse, a spinning wheel, a gypsy caravan, sea snails and squirrels vie for attention, in the King Street Gallery’s first solo show since covid-19. Hall began visiting the open-door community creative space 13 years ago, to fill her retirement days.

“I hadn’t done pottery before, so I went to make a birdbath and thought that was it,” she said. “Now I come nearly every working day. Every town in New Zealand should have a community facility such as this, where people are so friendly and welcoming.

“It’s taken me years to do a show. I couldn’t be bothered, but there was some nagging and people convinced me.”

Hall’s intelligence, wisdom and wit are appreciated at King Street, where co-ordinator Ian Chapman described her as “a bit of a star around here”. Hall banters with fellow artists and shares with them a love of the puzzles: Wordle [“it’s quite easy”] and Sudoku [“I’m not expert level yet”].

It’s clear that Hall has spent her lifetime learning and her love of reading has fired her creative talent. She’s also determined to keep her mind sharp: “I purposely don’t write down any appointments, but try to remember them all,” she said. “I have only forgotten one – as far as I know!”

Hall was born in Wimbledon, London. Early plans to become a doctor were overtaken by a desire to study History and Classical Studies. She completed four terms at Exeter University, before pursuing employment. “I don’t regret it,” she said. “A lot of my reading is historical, and I’ve learned a lot from that. In recent years, I’ve been enjoying Indian and Chinese writers. I also like films, classical music and jazz.”

King Street Artworks, 16 Queen St, Masterton, is open 10 am – 3 pm Monday-Friday. Audrey Hall’s “Wonderland” solo show runs until May 31. “I hadn’t done pottery before, so I went to make a birdbath and thought that was it,” she said. “Now I come nearly every working day. Every town in New Zealand should have a community facility such as this, where people are so friendly and welcoming.

“It’s taken me years to do a show. I couldn’t be bothered, but there was some nagging and people convinced me.”

Hall’s intelligence, wisdom and wit are appreciated at King Street, where co-ordinator Ian Chapman described her as “a bit of a star around here”. Hall banters with fellow artists and shares with them a love of the puzzles: Wordle [“it’s quite easy”] and Sudoku [“I’m not expert level yet”].

It’s clear that Hall has spent her lifetime learning and her love of reading has fired her creative talent. She’s also determined to keep her mind sharp: “I purposely don’t write down any appointments, but try to remember them all,” she said. “I have only forgotten one – as far as I know!”

Hall was born in Wimbledon, London. Early plans to become a doctor were overtaken by a desire to study History and Classical Studies. She completed four terms at Exeter University, before pursuing employment. “I don’t regret it,” she said. “A lot of my reading is historical, and I’ve learned a lot from that. In recent years, I’ve been enjoying Indian and Chinese writers. I also like films, classical music and jazz.”

Hall moved to Auckland in 1964, where she worked as a primary school teacher for 20 years. When it came time to choose a retirement village 23 years ago, she and her partner settled on Masterton, for its deciduous trees, flat terrain, “but most importantly, its good library”.

Hall is a resident at Masonic Village, where she does her own cooking and orders groceries on her cellphone, in its lime green case. “I like garlic, but go easy on the chilli,” she said.

She drives herself to King Street Artworks and plays table tennis once or twice a week at the Red Star Table Tennis Club in Masterton. “But only because they allow me to hold on to the table with one hand, and my partner must pick up the balls for me.”

The pieces for “Wonderland”, which have slowly been filling three rooms of her home, were packed by her daughter and transported by her granddaughter to the gallery.

Hall’s solo show does not mean a creative break – she is busy making a replica of a Persian drinking vessel with a handle depicting an ibex, dated 3000 BC, from a photograph. In her blue smock, she has a regular spot at the studio art tables, where her tools and other equipment stay put.

“I had about three shots at using an electric pottery wheel but didn’t like the feel of it,” she said, digging a wooden-handled tool into a block of clay.

“My work is hand-built. Most ideas come straight out of my head.”

King Street Artworks, 16 Queen St, Masterton, is open 10 am – 3 pm Monday-Friday. Audrey Hall’s “Wonderland” solo show runs until May 31. A colourful realm of ceramic characters and creatures has been carved and shaped by the 93-year-old hands of Masterton artist Audrey Hall.

Hall’s solo art show, “Wonderland”, is on at King Street Artworks in Masterton until May 31. As of Monday, 16 pieces had sold.

In scenes imagined by Hall, many based on nursery rhymes or fairytales, Peter Pumpkin Eater’s wife is kept inside a giant vegetable; a man chops down the Tree of Life atop a tower called “Genesis and Destruction”; and Adam and Eve encounter the serpent – in this case, the Garden of Eden is half a green apple encasing the couple and their tormenter.

Standout pieces in the show include circular ceramic books depicting the stories of Les Misérables [a novel by Victor Hugo, first read by Hall 70 years ago] and the Greek legend Theseus and the Minotaur; both pieces comprising fanned sections packed with figures. Hall can tell both stories in detail.

Elsewhere in the gallery, a dragon sits with its mouth hinged open, as a mouse goes to work on the beast’s rows of teeth in “Dragon at the Dentist”one of the pieces that sold straight away.

Rows of Hall’s interpretations of characters from Alice in Wonderland and Wind in the Willows line the walls. Red Riding Hood, Paddington Bear, Little Boy Blue and many companions pop against the white background.

A lighthouse, a spinning wheel, a gypsy caravan, sea snails and squirrels vie for attention, in the King Street Gallery’s first solo show since covid-19. Hall began visiting the open-door community creative space 13 years ago, to fill her retirement days.

 

“I hadn’t done pottery before, so I went to make a birdbath and thought that was it,” she said. “Now I come nearly every working day. Every town in New Zealand should have a community facility such as this, where people are so friendly and welcoming.

“It’s taken me years to do a show. I couldn’t be bothered, but there was some nagging and people convinced me.”

Hall’s intelligence, wisdom and wit are appreciated at King Street, where co-ordinator Ian Chapman described her as “a bit of a star around here”. Hall banters with fellow artists and shares with them a love of the puzzles: Wordle [“it’s quite easy”] and Sudoku [“I’m not expert level yet”].

It’s clear that Hall has spent her lifetime learning and her love of reading has fired her creative talent. She’s also determined to keep her mind sharp: “I purposely don’t write down any appointments, but try to remember them all,” she said. “I have only forgotten one – as far as I know!”

Hall was born in Wimbledon, London. Early plans to become a doctor were overtaken by a desire to study History and Classical Studies. She completed four terms at Exeter University, before pursuing employment. “I don’t regret it,” she said. “A lot of my reading is historical, and I’ve learned a lot from that. In recent years, I’ve been enjoying Indian and Chinese writers. I also like films, classical music and jazz.”

Hall moved to Auckland in 1964, where she worked as a primary school teacher for 20 years. When it came time to choose a retirement village 23 years ago, she and her partner settled on Masterton, for its deciduous trees, flat terrain, “but most importantly, its good library”.

Hall is a resident at Masonic Village, where she does her own cooking and orders groceries on her cellphone, in its lime green case. “I like garlic, but go easy on the chilli,” she said.

She drives herself to King Street Artworks and plays table tennis once or twice a week at the Red Star Table Tennis Club in Masterton. “But only because they allow me to hold on to the table with one hand, and my partner must pick up the balls for me”.

The pieces for “Wonderland”, which have slowly been filling three rooms of her home, were packed by her daughter and transported by her granddaughter to the gallery.

Hall’s solo show does not mean a creative break – she is busy making a replica of a Persian drinking vessel with a handle depicting an ibex, dated 3000 BC, from a photograph. In her blue smock, she has a regular spot at the studio art tables, where her tools and other equipment stay put.

“I had about three shots at using an electric pottery wheel but didn’t like the feel of it,” she said, digging a wooden-handled tool into a block of clay.

“My work is hand-built. Most ideas come straight out of my head.”

King Street Artworks, 16 Queen St, Masterton, is open 10 am – 3 pm Monday-Friday. Audrey Hall’s “Wonderland” solo show runs until May 31. A colourful realm of ceramic characters and creatures has been carved and shaped by the 93-year-old hands of Masterton artist Audrey Hall.

Hall’s solo art show, “Wonderland”, is on at King Street Artworks in Masterton until May 31. As of Monday, 16 pieces had sold.

In scenes imagined by Hall, many based on nursery rhymes or fairytales, Peter Pumpkin Eater’s wife is kept inside a giant vegetable; a man chops down the Tree of Life atop a tower called “Genesis and Destruction”; and Adam and Eve encounter the serpent – in this case, the Garden of Eden is half a green apple encasing the couple and their tormenter.

Standout pieces in the show include circular ceramic books depicting the stories of Les Misérables [a novel by Victor Hugo, first read by Hall 70 years ago] and the Greek legend Theseus and the Minotaur; both pieces comprising fanned sections packed with figures. Hall can tell both stories in detail.

Elsewhere in the gallery, a dragon sits with its mouth hinged open, as a mouse goes to work on the beast’s rows of teeth in “Dragon at the Dentist”one of the pieces that sold straight away.

Rows of Hall’s interpretations of characters from Alice in Wonderland and Wind in the Willows line the walls. Red Riding Hood, Paddington Bear, Little Boy Blue and many companions pop against the white background.

A lighthouse, a spinning wheel, a gypsy caravan, sea snails and squirrels vie for attention, in the King Street Gallery’s first solo show since covid-19. Hall began visiting the open-door community creative space 13 years ago, to fill her retirement days.

 

“I hadn’t done pottery before, so I went to make a birdbath and thought that was it,” she said. “Now I come nearly every working day. Every town in New Zealand should have a community facility such as this, where people are so friendly and welcoming.

“It’s taken me years to do a show. I couldn’t be bothered, but there was some nagging and people convinced me.”

Hall’s intelligence, wisdom and wit are appreciated at King Street, where co-ordinator Ian Chapman described her as “a bit of a star around here”. Hall banters with fellow artists and shares with them a love of the puzzles: Wordle [“it’s quite easy”] and Sudoku [“I’m not expert level yet”].

It’s clear that Hall has spent her lifetime learning and her love of reading has fired her creative talent. She’s also determined to keep her mind sharp: “I purposely don’t write down any appointments, but try to remember them all,” she said. “I have only forgotten one – as far as I know!”

Hall was born in Wimbledon, London. Early plans to become a doctor were overtaken by a desire to study History and Classical Studies. She completed four terms at Exeter University, before pursuing employment. “I don’t regret it,” she said. “A lot of my reading is historical, and I’ve learned a lot from that. In recent years, I’ve been enjoying Indian and Chinese writers. I also like films, classical music and jazz.”

Hall moved to Auckland in 1964, where she worked as a primary school teacher for 20 years. When it came time to choose a retirement village 23 years ago, she and her partner settled on Masterton, for its deciduous trees, flat terrain, “but most importantly, its good library”.

Hall is a resident at Masonic Village, where she does her own cooking and orders groceries on her cellphone, in its lime green case. “I like garlic, but go easy on the chilli,” she said.

She drives herself to King Street Artworks and plays table tennis once or twice a week at the Red Star Table Tennis Club in Masterton. “But only because they allow me to hold on to the table with one hand, and my partner must pick up the balls for me”.

The pieces for “Wonderland”, which have slowly been filling three rooms of her home, were packed by her daughter and transported by her granddaughter to the gallery.

Hall’s solo show does not mean a creative break – she is busy making a replica of a Persian drinking vessel with a handle depicting an ibex, dated 3000 BC, from a photograph. In her blue smock, she has a regular spot at the studio art tables, where her tools and other equipment stay put.

“I had about three shots at using an electric pottery wheel but didn’t like the feel of it,” she said, digging a wooden-handled tool into a block of clay.

“My work is hand-built. Most ideas come straight out of my head.”

King Street Artworks, 16 Queen St, Masterton, is open 10 am – 3 pm Monday-Friday. Audrey Hall’s “Wonderland” solo show runs until May 31.

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