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Chris Finlayson in Hello Farewell exhibit


“Kina” 2012. / pyro­technical drawing on timber panel.

Chris Finlayson in Hello Farewell exhibit.

Ex­Wellington muralist Chris Finlayson, who moved to Golden Bay in 2001, is showing artwork alongside other Golden Bay artists in an up­coming Wellington exhibition about Onetahua/Farewell Spit Nature Reserve.

Wellingtonians will be familiar with his large scale mural work created around the capital during the 80's and 90's. Projects included the 'Forest and Bird' mural on Taranaki St, the 'Venice' mural on IL Casino Restaurant (no longer) and the Cable St fence during construction of Te Papa.

Along with 27 other artists, Mr Finlayson has been selected to feature fine artwork in a show titled 'Hello Farewell. Art from the edge of Golden Bay'. The collection displays a diverse range of mediums. Finlayson works with the element of fire. He explains: “I do drawings on timber panels with a blow­torch. A style I call “Pyrotechnique”.

All of the artists' work in the exhibit relates to individual experiences inspired by a 5­day residency at Onetahua/Farewell Spit Nature Reserve.

In 2001, a special bi­annual arrangement was formed between local iwi Mana Whenua ki Mohua, the Department of Conservation and the Golden Bay Arts Council.

This arrangement allows for a group of 12 artists to stay for 5 days at the very tip of this remote Reserve. They are there to get inspired.

Over the years, 60 artists have survived the adventure. The Reserve is otherwise closed to public stay­over.

Onetahua/Farewell Spit shares a rich heritage with both Maori and European settlers in the region. A dominant feature of the landscape is the historic light­house, and during their stay, the artists bunk down in the restored light­house keepers' quarters.

Finlayson adds, “My five days on the edge of Onetahua were like being a tiny cast member in some phenomenal natural opera. Everything was going off big time. I think all the artists in this exhibit would agree that it's a hugely significant undertaking to bring our heart­felt creations across the water to the Capital”.

The exhibition ­ 'Hello Farewell. Art from the edge of Golden Bay', opens to the public July 2nd – 8th August at Bowen House Gallery.

* Mr Finlayson will be in Wellington July 2nd & 3rd


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