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Emerging Artists Exhibit at Art-X

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Emerging Artists Exhibit at Art-X

An “emerging artist”, EIT degree student, Jeff Robertson depicts a walking figure dwarfed by an expansive space in a painting showcased at the national Art-X exhibition in Napier.

Born in Hawke’s Bay, Jeff moved with his family to Australia when he was in his early teens. He loves Sydney but prefers the great outdoors to crowded city streets. So it is the idea of solitude and how that is connected to creativity that he explores in his acrylic and oil painting Thought.

Jeff is of one of three EIT ideaschool students invited to take part in the two-week national exhibition and sale held by the Rotary Club of Greenmeadows at Napier’s Municipal Theatre – the most “emerging artists” ever selected for Art-X, now in its 33rd year.

Fellow Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design students William Jenkins and Amber Cherrington were also asked to submit work for the exhibition, which continues until 6 July.

Jeff was in his late 30s when “an early mid-life crisis” launched him into tertiary studies.

“I left high school early and always regretted that,” he says.

While travelling overseas and working as a forklift driver, on construction sites and as a dive instructor, he nurtured his interest in art.

“Drawing and painting have always been a passion of mine. I have played around with water colour and studied art at evening class.”

Several years ago, he decided to more seriously develop his talent.

“I decided to study visual arts and design because I didn’t want to get to 90 and wish I’d given it a go. It’s the best thing I ever did. I’m loving ideaschool and its project-approach to studying art and design. You’ve got to follow your dreams – life is short.”

Studying at ideaschool, first at diploma level and then progressing to the degree programme, is “the best thing I’ve ever done”.

A search and rescue volunteer, Jeff enjoys climbing and tramping so he’s also happy to be back in Hawke’s Bay where so many outdoor pursuits are close at hand. He couples study with working as a part-time technician at the Hastings City Art Gallery and aims to shape a future as an artist.

Currently he is preparing work to submit for the Waikato Society of Art’s Print and Painting Awards.

In painting Thought, Jeff first applied a layer of acrylic and then added oil to achieve depth and enrich the colour palette.

“It’s great to have been selected,” he says of Art-X. “It will look good on my portfolio and it’s a fundraising event, which is nice.”


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