Arrowtown artist Paul Sewter with one of 11 digital text
paintings in his recent ''Sonnets'' series. Photo by Tracey
The Queenstown Lakes District Council has done an about
turn after an Arrowtown artist was told he could not exhibit
his work in the Queenstown Gardens because some people might be
Paul Sewter contacted the Otago Daily Times after
receiving an email from a council representative, stating
advice received from ''senior council management'' meant the
council would not permit the exhibition of 11 digital text
paintings as ''some members of the public may find it
offensive and as such we need to avoid such a situation''.
Earlier this year, Mr Sewter had one of his digital text
paintings included in the inaugural World Art Games in
Croatia, and his first series, ''Control, Alt, Delete'', was
exhibited at the New Zealand Art Show in Wellington in July.
Late last month he approached the council hoping to exhibit
his second series - inspired by Shakespearean sonnets - in
either Earnslaw Park or in the Queenstown Gardens.
The ''Sonnets'' series feature coloured images of the female
form in various poses.
Mr Sewter said after reading 154 Shakespeare sonnets, he
selected lines of text and repeated them as the background.
The words were also used to create a virtual paintbrush, used
on an electronic tablet, to create the images.
While the park was ruled out as an exhibition space, he hoped
to show the works in the gardens.
Mr Sewter was ''intrigued'' by the council's ''conservative
Later yesterday, QLDC spokeswoman Meaghan Miller ''quashed''
the statement sent to Mr Sewter and invited him to present
his proposal to the council.
''There are no guarantees, but we'd like to give him a fair
hearing,'' Ms Miller said.