Artful response

Melanie Martin, Rowena Ashman, Lyn Watts and Marilyn Muirhead. Photo: John Borren.

In a first for the Bay of Plenty, textile and pigment artists are combining to produce creativity in a unique way.

The artists have been matched for a new exhibition and challenged to see what results from their response to each other’s creativity.

“The painters were happy to take up the challenge - though at the beginning they weren’t sure what they were volunteering for,” says textile artist Marilyn Muirhead.

“I saw this idea in Sumner years ago, and was so taken by it that I put it to the textile artists, who were very keen. The decision was to make two pieces each and then be ‘paired up’ with the painters.”

Top Bay of Plenty and New Zealand-known artists involved are Rob McGregor, Lyn Watts, Melanie Martin, Robin Purllant, Graham Baker, Debbie Clarke, Rowena Ashman, Mary Transom, Christie Cramer, Maxine Thompson, Lois Parish Evans and Marilyn Muirhead.

Robin Purllant and Graham Baker have been matched with Marilyn Muirhead; Debbie Clarke and Rowena Ashman with Mary Transom; Christie Cramer and Maxine Thompson with Lois Parish Evans; and Rob McGregor and Lyn Watts with Melanie Martin.

“The invitation to work in close collaboration with award winning textile artist Melanie Martin on a mutual theme has been both a welcome and exciting change of focus,” says artist Lyn Watts.

“I am looking forward to seeing all of the wonderful talented work from fellow artists in the exhibition,” says Rowena Ashman.

“The idea was not to copy, but respond to the other artist’s piece,” explains Marilyn. “Each pair decided whether to collaborate or keep their piece as a surprise.

“It has taken nearly two years to get it organised - these top New Zealand artists had other commitments for exhibitions, competitions and commissioned work.”

This stunning show brings together two unrelated disciplines in a memorable and stimulating way.

Not all of the responses are with paint; there is mixed media, while Maxine Thompson is a pastel artist who has won prizes in Australia and well as New Zealand.

Some of the artists have seen others progress with their response, but others are leaving it for a surprise.

The Artful Response exhibition is open now, and will run at The People’s Gallery, Tauranga Historic Village until October 31. The exhibition is open from 10am-3pm daily.


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