Art awards showcase the region's talent

 

Made with the support of NZ On Air 

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Currently on display upstairs at the Dunedin Railway Station is the Otago Art Society's year's principal exhibition of the year.

The annual Edinburgh Realty Premier Art Awards are a highlight on the society's calendar, with a first prize of $3000 attracting entries from all across the South Island.

Finishing up on Saturday, 7 September, this year's show sees 170 entries filling the walls of the upstairs gallery space of the historic building.

The exhibition is just one of about a dozen the society put on each year and Dunedin artist and society member Anne Baldock says the location is ideal for showing artworks.

"We have the whole world coming to us because it's at the railway station which is a popular tourist attraction."

 Flatties Need Their DIY Dads by Anne Baldock
Flatties Need Their DIY Dads by Anne Baldock

Many of the shows they put on over the year are themed. In the past they've had an exhibition dedicated to paintings of dogs, and another - slightly more controversially - on the subject of nudes.

The current show is open to all styles of painting, although landscapes seem to dominate the artworks.

Anne's own entry is Flatties Need Their DIY Dads - a picture of a man about to plaster over a hole in the ceiling.

She said she likes to paint as if looking down from above, and in this case we view the scene from the hole's perspective.

To execute the painting, she asked her husband to pose as the person doing the repairs to the ceiling, and later added some of the young students in the flat looking on.

Otago Art Society members Anne Baldock (right) and Ness Kerr admire some of the paintings on display. Photo: Rudy Hueting
Otago Art Society members Anne Baldock (right) and Ness Kerr admire some of the paintings on display. Photo: Rudy Hueting

"The inspiration came from my experience with my son at university, who wanted to go flatting the first year."

"He often came home with stories about how there was yet another hole in the floor or the ceiling after a party and I thought they always tend to call on their dads to do the repair work."

When she joined there was an application process to go through in order to join the society, but nowadays membership is now open to everyone.

"Anyone can join up and try their hand at art, enter exhibitions, and their art is on display for the public to  enjoy and even purchase."

After all, she says, "Who's the decider of what's good art?" 

 

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