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Painter exhibits photography of a different kind

2 April 2008

Painter exhibits photography of a different kind

One of Toi Pōneke’s inaugural studio artists, Naomi Clements, will exhibit the culmination of a year’s work, Snapshot, at the gallery on Abel Smith Street from next Friday (11 April).

Often described as illustrative, her paintings are reproductions of photographs that Naomi took with the intent to recast them in oil on canvas.

Naomi says she began collecting photos for their aesthetic rather than representative qualities a few years ago, and that she then began to paint out some of the more unusual images.

“The flawed nature of some of the photographs, such as a head missing in a poorly taken shot, appeals to me,” says Naomi. “As do a lot of the patterns and colours of the images, which are replicated in my paintings. The reproductions are not always exact copies; I have incorporated my style to create new representations of the original image.”

Rich in detail, all of the paintings feature interiors only – household furniture, ceiling spaces, some of which are quite ornate. People also appear in Naomi’s paintings - she recently documented her mother’s birthday celebration and incorporated some of the images into this collection.

Originally from Thames, Naomi completed a Fine Arts degree at ELAM in Auckland where she was awarded the Schmincke Painting Prize for most meritorious work in 2003. When she returned to New Zealand a few years ago after time overseas, she moved to Wellington and soon heard about Toi Pōneke’s artist studios.

“I immediately applied and was delighted to get into the centre. It has been a great experience – from having my own studio to work in on a full-time basis to having my first solo exhibition in a gallery. New challenges such as these for an emerging artist are invaluable I look forward to seeing where they will take me,” says Naomi.

The time is ripe for this exhibition. While she currently paints portraits from photography for clients, Naomi is keen to move on to other artistic ventures.

Snapshot opens at 5.30pm on Friday 11 April and runs until the end of the month at Toi Pōneke Gallery, 61-63 Abel Smith Street.


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