Our art becomes My Art

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Southland artist Ross McKenzie prepares for the opening of his first solo exhibition at a pop-up shop on the corner of Yarrow and Deveron Sts last week. Photo: Petrina Wright

SOUTHLAND artist Ross McKenzie’s first solo exhibition is personal.

His My Art Exhibition opens tomorrow in a pop-up shop on the corner of Yarrow and Deveron Sts, Invercargill.

McKenzie said the exhibition not only represented the honouring of a promise made to a long-time friend who had died, but was also the realisation of their dream some 50 years in the making.

“I’m nervous as hell, in that I am excited I am going to realise this dream that we had.”

Working together as display artists, McKenzie and friend and former work colleague the late Wayne Hill often talked about holding a joint exhibition.

They worked together for more than 20 years, sharing ideas, dreams and artistic techniques in various mediums.

Hill’s focus was air brush work, screen printing and model making, and McKenzie’s focus was acrylic, oil and water colour paintings, and pen and ink drawings.

As the years passed, their art exhibition aspiration fell away as their careers took different paths.

Then Hill became terminally ill.

McKenzie said before he died Hill insisted he should carry on with their dream to hold an exhibition.

Some 12 years later, and now retired, McKenzie was ready to fulfil that promise to his friend.

He likened his first solo exhibition to being naked on the dance floor.

“Everyone sees what you have got.”

McKenzie’s My Art Exhibition features a collection of 73 pieces showcasing a variety of styles from traditional landscape paintings, pencil drawings, and village and folk art scapes.

McKenzie’s My Art Exhibition, Cnr. Yarrow and Deveron Sts, Invercargill, 10am – 4pm daily. Opens tomorrow and runs until July 28.

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