Lockdown spurs artists’ creativity

Artist Alice Pottinger alongside two of her abstracts - A Pear of One and Mid-day Sun - ahead of the Artists of Southland annual exhibition in Tuatapere next week.

EXPECT colour, texture, form and the unexpected when the Artists of Southland collective hosts its annual art exhibition at the Tuatapere RSA Hall next week.

Exhibition co-organiser Alice Pottinger said the number of exhibitors and artworks at the exhibition would be on par with previous years with up to 25 artists from throughout Southland exhibiting a diverse range of artworks.

“There was a good community in Southland of artists in several vocations from visual art to sculptural.”

Because people could not travel as normal due to Covid-19 lockdowns and change in alert levels, artists had instead used their time to get more creative, which had resulted in a lot more enthusiasm towards the exhibition, she said.

“Instead of people not travelling the same, it has resulted in more opportunities for artists to explore their creative journey.”

All the artists were members of the collective.

Some would be well-known, such as Leone Mason, Wayne Edgerton, Lynn Grace, Pottinger, Barry Saich and Peter Walker, who has won various art awards including the MacAlister Award for best exhibit in the Anderson Park Spring Exhibition, as well as some up-and-coming artists, and some who had only recently taken up a paint brush or chisel.

All the works would be new, with some of the art created at member retreats, including at Borland Lodge in Western Southland and Tautuku in the Catlins recently.

“We had the largest number at Borland this year so far, with 28, and 17 at Tautuku.”

The informal collective was originally set up with the aim of gaining more recognition for southern artists, Pottinger said.

The collective had grown from about seven to about 120 members of all ages, from beginners to professionals and well-established artists.

“Any artist in Southland or of Southland were welcome.”

As well as the opportunity to view the art at the exhibition, including woodwork and pottery, visitors would also have the chance to meet some of the artists and discuss their work, as well as watch Walker paint on-site.

All of the art would be for sale – cash and carry style.

Because the exhibition was made up from the members’ art, “commission isn’t built in, which allows pieces to be reasonable”, Pottinger said.

  • Artists of Southland Annual Art Exhibition, Tuatapere RSA Hall, Friday, October 15, 7pm. Exhibition Sunday, October 17, 10am to 3pm. Free entry.