Artist's life in pictures

Attending  the show are (from left) Maree Hocking, of Oamaru, Central Stories board member Helena...
Attending the show are (from left) Maree Hocking, of Oamaru, Central Stories board member Helena Heydelaar, of Earnscleugh, Jan Jackson, of Geraldine, and Linda Ayson, of Cambridge. Photo by Liam Cavanagh.

An exhibition featuring work by a Central Otago artist opened yesterday.

The family of the late Doug Ayson are honouring his life and work by presenting 84 of his original paintings and drawings at the Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery.

More than 60 people attended the exhibition opening, as well as Mr Ayson's family and sisters including Linda Ayson, Jan Jackson and Maree Hocking.

Mrs Jackson said she and her family found the works after sorting through Mr Ayson's belongings after he died last year.

Family friend and Central Stories board member Helena Heydelaar suggested the works be exhibited at the gallery for the public, Mrs Jackson said.

Most of the works are for sale.

Mr Ayson grew up in the Maniototo and lived in Alexandra since the 1970s.

His first love was his art and he was ''self-taught with everything he did''.

He was well known for his mural work, she said.

Some of his murals can be seen in Alexandra outside New World and Henry's.

The exhibition was the ''culmination'' of 18 months' work, she said.

Mrs Jackson said she was sad to see the works being sold, but she wanted to allow people to enjoy them rather than them ''sitting in a cupboard, hidden away''.

The exhibition was also a tribute to her husband, who died three weeks ago.

He helped to sort through the works and organise the collection, but was unable to see the end the result, she said.

The exhibition would be the last time the works were shown in public, she said.

• The Doug Ayson exhibition will be on display until October 4.

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