45th art exhibition takes the cake

Riversdale Arts president Christine O'Connor alongside the installation created by artist Janet de Wagt (Dunedin) and Jude Taylor (Taylormade Cakes, Gore) to celebrate 45 Mixed Media Exhibitions and the local area. Photos: Amy Johnstone

THE 45th Riversdale Arts’ Mixed Media Exhibition is a feast for the senses.

Featuring more than 350 artworks by artists from throughout the country, large-scale installations and a mixture of creations by local children, the exhibition comprises everything from watercolours, to jewellery, to extreme cakes.

Ruth Crouchley, of Te Anau, won this year’s Emerging Artist Award for her painting The Legend of the Lake.

Emerging Artist winner Ruth Crouchley (21), of Te Anau, with her acrylic painting The Legend of the Lake. Photo: Supplied

In a press release, judges Jim and Marcella Geddes said: “This beautifully executed painting embraced a legend that has its genesis not too far from here – at Lake Te Anau”.

“Not only does it reflect a key Southland story but there are sufficient nuances within the painting to present the exhibition visitor with a range of cultural viewpoints and story possibilities.”

Gore artist Diane Young was awarded the best local artist for the third consecutive year with her painting Piano Flat.

This year is the first time artist Aaron Abernethy has entered the exhibition.

Inspired by the animals in the area where he lives, near Garston, Abernethy has entered two metal sculptures – a deer and a stag head.

Artist Aaron Abernethy with his stag head metal sculpture, which features welded, layered and textured steel.

Abernethy said he had been dabbling in the art for the past 10 years and his earlier works included tree sculptures.

“But animals are starting to really take place in what I’m doing.”

Hours and hours of welding had gone into his impressive stag head. He said he started with the antlers, but the project kept growing.

The metal sculpture features welded, layered and textured steel on a hardwood back, with a tread plate frame, and weighs about 50kg.

“I made a rod skeleton for it, and then bent tubes and round bar for the antlers, then over that’s just layers and layers of weld.”

The exhibition is open at the Riversdale Community Centre daily from 11am to 5pm, until closing on Sunday at 3pm. Entry tickets are available at the door.

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