IF there is one thing Centre Bush artist Jasmine Keir loves about Southlanders, it is their “let’s bring the tractor” attitude to getting things done while helping one another with little expectation of reward beyond a “box of beer”.
The ex-Cantabrian said her respect for that generosity and groundedness was why she now called Southland home, and was the reason behind offering space in her Number 8 gallery for the region’s artists to showcase their talent.
Keir said she wanted to hear from artists keen to hold solo exhibitions in a dedicated section of the gallery, or who could share space in the main gallery alongside her own works.
Keir said she was looking for artwork which complemented her own and would create additional interest at the gallery, keeping things fresh and meeting a growing demand for local work.
Her own signature style, Reflective Art, began in Southland 18 years ago, and since then had been sold throughout New Zealand. It creatively combines mirrors, copper and enamelling.
Keir was involved at the Christchurch Arts Centre for six years until it closed after the earthquake in February 2011.
While at the arts centre she said she enjoyed “the community way of being” and was looking forward to creating a similar exhibition hub at Centre Bush.
“I am looking forward to making Number 8 a good centrally situated gallery for those who are hankering a cultural stop on the road,” she said.
Her return to Southland heralds a lifelong love affair with the region.
For the past 30 years she lived between Christchurch and Southland, 15 years ago buying and converting the Centre Bush Anglican Church in Beaufort St.
a contemporary home adjoining the church and also has plans to open a fishing lodge.
“I feel my best in Southland. I have always holidayed here. It’s good to be back,” she said.