Striking collages artist's labour of love

Palmerston-based artist Annejennette Maki (centre) is joined by Cancer Society Otago-Southland...
Palmerston-based artist Annejennette Maki (centre) is joined by Cancer Society Otago-Southland marketing and fundraising manager Jonet Warhurst (left), and Gallery on Blueskin owner Louise Burnside with two of the smokefree images she has created. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD
A seven-year project to create a series of striking collages using hundreds of cigarette packets has been a labour of love for a local artist.

The six collage images by Palmerston-based artist Annejennette Maki , each with a smokefree message, are on display at Gallery on Blueskin, Waitati, until October 18.

The cigarette packets had been collected over the years from family and friends, and the works were inspired by Maki's 9-year-old niece and namesake.

"I am a smoker, and she has been relaying the smokefree message to me very firmly for a while now,'' Maki said.

Maki, who traces her whakapapa to Tuhoe, Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu, as well as to Gloucestershire in England, says smoking has been part of her family for five generations.

The theme of whakapapa runs through the exhibition, as Maki, usually a painter, uses strong tribal designs to highlight her smokefree message - again inspired by her niece.

"She showed me her inspiration, and it was through her eyes, her heart, and her spiritual spark that I felt and saw within her was whakapapa.''

In conjunction with the Cancer Society Otago and Southland Division, Maki has chosen to give the original collages to people and organisations who work in the field of smokefree awareness.

The images will be available nationally to be used in health promotions.

Cancer Society marketing and fundraising manager Jonet Warhurst welcomed the move, saying art was "an amazing way to communicate health messages''.

High quality A3 posters and A5 images created from scans of the works are being sold by Gallery on Blueskin owner Louise Burnside to help cover the costs of the exhibition.

A closing event, when the works will be given to their recipient organisations, will be held on October 17, at 5.30pm.

BRENDA.HARWOOD @thestar.co.nz

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