ARTIST Caley Hall will be in familiar surroundings when he attends the Fiordland Arts Society’s Multi Media Art Exhibition at Labour Weekend.
Fiordland landscapes are a favourite subject for Hall, who has been made an honorary member of the society.
Hall says he still gets blown away by the scenery in the area.
“It’s so isolated, I think it’s good for the soul to be out in nature.
“I just did a seven-day trip in there with Fiordland Discovery and, man, we did some discovering.”
He said the trip took him through the fiords and he learnt a lot about the area, while also getting to spend time painting on the boat.
Hall also goes into Milford Sound a few times each year to paint and photograph scenery, which he then uses as a base for his paintings.
He has been a fan of the area for a long time, and used to travel in frequently while working for Fiordland Travel (now Real Journeys).
“We were in Milford a lot – always fishing, exploring, walking. But I never knew how to paint.”
However, he had a friend who was a very good artist, so knew a bit about the art world, and opened a gallery in Fairlie.
“So I opened a gallery before I could paint.”
He soon picked up a paintbrush, starting with abstract works.
However, he kept a close eye on his friends who had success with their landscape paintings and was inspired to give that a go, too.
“I just love the landscapes, too, it’s just a good fit really.
“I couldn’t paint a stick figure 10 years ago, so it’s like a testament to passion really. Just wanting to do it so bad.”
Along with taking commissions, Hall sells smaller works on Trade Me and currently has some large scale works in Greg McDonald’s Chiaroni Gallery on Don St, Invercargill.
During his time as an artist, Hall has also helped raise money for charity by donating artwork to be sold, including $14,500 for Cure Kids, helping fundraise for the Loss and Grief Centre in Invercargill, and hosting art lessons for The Cancer Society.
His charity work was recognised with a Certificate of Achievement in this year’s Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year awards.
Hall said he was looking forward to returning to Te Anau, and would be taking a variety of paintings to work on and have for sale throughout the exhibition.
The exhibition will also feature guest artist Angela Meecham, of Lawrence, who works with felt, mixed media, and print-making.
More than 20 other artists from the Fiordland and Southland regions will also have their art on display, including photography, glass work, ceramics, woodwork, jewellery and sculpture.
An afternoon tea will be held on the Saturday afternoon, offering the public an opportunity to meet the artists. The Fiordland Players will also provide live entertainment.
Work by members of the Fiordland Embroiderers Guild and Fiordland Creative Fibres Group will also be on display.
The exhibition will be held at the Fiordland Community Events Centre, 20-22 Luxmore Dr, Te Anau. It will be open on Saturday, October 20, from 10am-5pm, and Sunday, October 21, from 10am-3pm. Entry $4 per person. Children free.