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Christchurch artist finally gets to exhibit after earthquake

Media release – August 22, 2011

Christchurch artist finally gets to exhibit after earthquake setbacks



Ruth Killoran


Six months after the February earthquake, a Christchurch artist is finally having the exhibition she never thought she would have.

Sculptor Ruth Killoran lost so many pieces of fine Oamaru stone carvings on February 22, she initially thought she would never carve again. She had no insurance to cover her broken works.

``I lost so much in February -- too many pieces to mention. I actually thought of giving up and wondered: what was the point of putting all my hard work into something that got destroyed so quickly and easily. But as the days passed, I realised carving was part of who I am now and it helps with my painting as it makes me see things more three-dimensionally.’’

Killoran will have her Oamaru stone carved sculptural pieces and paintings displayed at an exhibition, beginning in Oxford on Sunday (August 28) and running throughout September.

She accepts now that anything she creates could get destroyed in another shake but from each piece she learns so much, something that cannot be taken away from her.

``It has been hard to put a value on the work that was destroyed. Some of it was work I would have never sold. I also lost a lot of paintings, a lot of them can be reframed but some canvases were destroyed.

``I had also nearly finished a waxed carving; I was so pleased with it. I was about to look into having it cast to make my first bronze work but it smashed to bits. Out of everything that was probably the most upsetting.’’

Gazing at all the earthquake damaged pieces, Ruth was so upset she threw away many bits but kept other pieces for no other reason that she has no room to put in the bin.

Three of her sculptures have earthquake connections, as they are all reshaped from a larger piece which survived the 5.6 June 13 earthquake but then crashed down off its plinth an hour or so later in the 6.3 shake.

In 2009 and 2010 Killoran was a finalist in the highly regarded annual UK Aesthetica Creative Arts award.

In February this year she won first prize for sculpture and second prize for a painting at the Nut Point Centre near West Melton.

She shaped a large piece from a one tonne block of stone which had a $4000 price tag on it at the 2009 Oamaru Stone Symposium. She will return to Oamaru in November to carve a two tonne block. Killoran was a finalist in the 2009 Anthony Harper Contemporary Art Award at the COCA gallery.

Ends

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