Joint exhibition ‘long overdue’ for artistic duo

Artists Karen Friend, of Lillburn Valley (left), with her work Georgia and Deb Racz, of Isla Bank, with The Grey, which will be part of their Art Release exhibition at the Riverton Community Art Centre next year.

PHOTOGRAPHY, mixed media, “grunge-raw” art, a recently released book and woodcrafts, will all feature at the Art Release exhibition in the Riverton Community Arts Centre early next month.

Friends and artists Deb Racz, of Isla Bank, and Karen Friend, of Lillburn Valley in Western Southland, have teamed up to exhibit a range of new artworks, and have invited some guest artists to join in.

Both established artists, Racz, who was well-known for her photography and art, said some of her works would include very large wall pieces, while Friend described some of her work as “grunge-raw-style art”.

While the duo had exhibited before, this exhibition would show some of their new artworks, they said.

“It [the joint exhibition] has been long overdue,” Racz said.

Friend said she had taken up art as a mature-aged student when she relocated from the West Coast to Southland in the early 2000s, after lessons from Tuatapere artist Wayne Edgerton.

For Racz, it was the “ideas and challenges” which inspired her work.

“I love it. It is a creative need.”

Other works at the exhibition would include collages by Australian artist Jane Holmes, the photo book Copeisolation Laire Purik created during lockdown on Stewart Island, Otautau artist Kimberley Thomas’ work and woodcrafts by Tony Clapperton, including a What-Not (a chair-side coffee table made from native timber), a coffee table and rimu platter, and wooden bowls created by Henry Friend, of Lillburn Valley.

  • Art Release, new artworks by Deb Racz and Karen Friend, Riverton Community Arts Centre, Wednesday, January 6, to Thursday, January 21, 10am to close.

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