Artworks’ theme put to public vote

Millers Flat artist Sally Jory with her switchboard operator artwork on a Chorus cabinet in...
Millers Flat artist Sally Jory with her switchboard operator artwork on a Chorus cabinet in Millers Flat.PHOTO: SALLY JORY
Millers Flat artist Sally Jory’s latest artworks are an act of democracy.

When she learnt telecommunications company Chorus had given her approval to paint two of its cabinets, she put it to the public vote.

Taking to social media, she eventually settled on a logical theme — telecommunication — at the suggestion of local couple Kyle and Marion Mewburn.

Mrs Jory was originally asked to paint the smaller Millers Flat cabinet but modified her design when she realised there were two cabinets alongside each other, both sharing the same ID.

The theme, courtesy of the Mewburns, harks backed to a bygone era, and one cabinet shows a man using a candlestick phone and the other a switchboard operator.

Her works are the first of this year’s Chorus Cabinet Art projects in Central Otago to be completed.

She estimated both works had taken about 40 hours to finish with plenty of welcome distractions.

‘‘People kept stopping to talk to me and that was part of of the fun.’’

Part of the conversation was people’s own recollections of switchboard operators and party lines — they also helped her in adapting the works as she painted, she said.

There are four more cabinets — two in Cromwell, one near Clyde and one in Naseby — destined to be painted this summer as part of the joint project between the Central Otago District Council, Central Otago Arts and Chorus.

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