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NZ artist invited to exhibit at Florence Biennale

Heavenly touch for NZ artist invited to exhibit at Florence Biennale

Jane Gray  with
Thinking Heaven on Earth
Click to enlarge


31 August 2007

Heavenly touch for NZ artist invited to exhibit at Florence Biennale

Internationally acclaimed Hawke’s Bay artist Jane Gray is living among angels since being invited to exhibit at the prestigious invitation-only Florence Biennale 2007 in Italy in December, the largest exhibition of contemporary art in the world.

She is going for impact by submitting only one painting, Thinking Heaven on Earth.

“I have painted it specifically for the biennale. It is of masses of people who are all sporting wings, suggesting we could be angels if we all gave up our self-centred ways. Then we could have Heaven on Earth,” she said.

For the Florence Biennale, around 800 artists are selected following research by experts from art academies and museums worldwide. Known officially as the Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Contemporanea, the exhibition is expected to attract 40,000 viewers to the historical Fortezza Basso in Florence from 1-9 December. This is the sixth time it has been held.

Gray said, from her Wine Country Gallery in Havelock North, “When the invitation first arrived in a huge envelope, I kept the news to myself for a day. I couldn’t believe it! It’s very exciting to be invited as it means you are recognised as having something to offer the international art community.”

She has spoken to fellow New Zealand artist Jane Kellahan who exhibited at the biennale in 2005. That resulted in Kellahan being offered the opportunity for another exhibition in Italy at a later date.

Gray will be unable to attend the biennale in person but son Michael who’s in London will attend the exhibition on her behalf.

Gray is noted as one of this country’s 60 most popular artists, featuring in the book, New Zealand’s Favourite Artists, compiled by Designers Institute member and art consultant Denis Robinson.

She has had sell-out exhibitions in New Zealand and the United Kingdom and is Sileni Estate Winery’s resident artist, commissioned to produce the painting that fronts the bottle of their premium wine each year. In 2003, she was made resident artist at the Kiwi Grille restaurant chain in Massachusetts, US, with her artwork featured on the walls and tableware. She was one of only six artists invited to exhibit at the America’s Cup Village in 1999 during the Louis Vuitton and America’s Cup Series.


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