Anna Ngo’s weekly arts diary

Opening this Saturday at Red Shed in Palm Beach is the exhibition Twelve Waiheke Paintings by Colin Beardon, a series of 12 acrylic works that Colin created for his 2018 calendar.

Set in the familiar locales of Palm Beach, Onetangi, Rocky Bay, Oneroa, Putiki Bay and Whakanewha, the paintings were completed over a period of two years, the same length of time it’s been since he last issued a calendar. But fans of Colin’s signature graphic style will agree that it’s been worth the wait.

While many of the pieces are a continuation of the style and subject matter of his previous work, some notable developments can be seen.

“Onetangi, Onetangi Hall, Putiki Bay and Palm Beach are all about well-known places on the island and are rendered in the flat, delineated style that I have used for several years,” Colin says. “But Oneroa Bay, which features flax flowers and a tui, is obviously not about the location at all, and the two paintings set in Whakanewha are similarly more about nature itself than their location.”

Dawn: Storm Clouds over Coromandel, which debuted at the Red Shed’s Waiheke Open Exhibition last April, represents a definite shift in style. Colin describes the work as “much more loosely rendered and atmospheric, in both senses of the word.” Absent are the defining lines while colour, softness and depth are used to great effect to create an ethereal yet subdued sky that hints at a celestial being.

On Onetangi Beach, on the other hand, attempts to capture a moment of a dog walking on wet sand. “In both of these works, there is a more subtle effect of layering that is largely absent from my more formal work and suggests perhaps a new direction for the future.”

Colin’s 2018 calendar will be available for purchase for $40 at the exhibition, which will feature 10 original paintings and two canvas prints standing in for two works that have already sold. “I want people to see the relationship of the paintings to the calendar,” he says. (Colin’s 2016 calendar sold out as well.)

From mid-October, the calendar will also be available at the Red Shed, Palm Beach Dairy, Ostend Dairy and other locations around the island.

Colin’s Twelve Waiheke Paintings show begins at 4pm and all are welcome. The Red Shed, at 74A Palm Road in Palm Beach (next to Palm Beach Hall), is currently open Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm to 4pm. Starting 21 October, its hours will extend to 10am to 4pm.
On 14 October, the Waiheke Community Housing Trust is holding its Houseathon, a sleep-out in response to the island’s housing crisis. Participants will ‘sleep rough’ on cardboard or in their cars in the Artworks Courtyard from 6pm till 8am the next day, aiming for $200 per person in pledges. The Houseathon’s goal is to raise funds for a section with a cottage and for a neighbouring section that will be used for affordable housing.

Getting behind this very important cause is a cadre of Waiheke artists, who have generously donated works for auction. An estimated 15 works in a variety of media will be on display outside Waiheke Living in Ostend for prospective bidders to view leading up to the auction, which will be held the day after the sleep-out, on 15 October.

 “It will be good to go along and see this spontaneous exhibition in the foyer of Waiheke Living,” says participating artist Nora West. “There are some very good works there and you can pick up a bargain.”

In line with the cause, works available for sale feature a house theme as interpreted by artists including Miranda Hawthorn and Katie Trinkle-Legge. At press time, details of the auction were still being finalised.

On Sunday 8 October, the Waiheke Community Gallery is hosting a free workshop, a tribute to New Zealand’s foremost textile artist, Malcolm Harrison, who lived out his final days on Waiheke.

Tutored by Joan Hamilton, a well-known quilter in her own right, a group of 10 participants will make a small wall hanging or cushion cover inspired by Malcolm’s works currently on display in the main gallery. The workshop, which is already enrolled to capacity and currently has a waiting list, is a follow-up to July’s successful Zero Waste Fashion workshop led by local fashion designer Jeanine Clarkin and Galina Joukova, a fashion technician at AUT University. 

Those unable to take part in the workshop can still find a wealth of inspiration in Malcolm’s many tapestries, quilts, embroideries and ink drawings, which remain on display until 16 October.

In one of his earliest quilts, Hommage à Rousseau, Malcolm himself finds inspiration in the French post-impressionist painter. Rousseau’s 1908 work The Football Players is represented in the centre panel of this incredibly detailed and colourful work, which appears to be among his first to combine an art element with technique.

The Waiheke Community Art Gallery is open daily from 10am to 4pm. • Anna Ngo

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