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Leading NZ artist to exhibit at the Wai, Queenstown

                                           Media release – December 20, 2010

             Leading NZ artist to stage exhibition at the Wai in Queenstown

Leading New Zealand artist Lisa Wisse of Christchurch will next week open a special exhibition of dedicated works at the Wai on Steamer wharf in Queenstown.

The exclusive exhibition which opens on Christmas Eve will run until the end of February. Wisse is regarded as one of the top contemporary Kiwi artists whose works are highly sought-after.

She has also just opened an exhibition at the Arthouse in Sydney using elements of the land, fertile vineyards, flowing foothills, sculptured urns moulded from the clay of the earth.

``I included cracks and scarred land patterns, representing the Christchurch earthquake of September 4 which I lived through. The aftershocks instilled fear on a daily basis,’’ Wisse said today.

``My life has changed irreversibly since September and I have portrayed the survival process by the inclusion of fragments of beauty found in each piece, a touch of luminous gold, the perfect skeleton of a fallen leaf -always seeing beauty and positivity.’’                                                

The 7.1 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, on September 4 is expected to cost the country up to $6 billion.

Wisse also recently paid tribute to the 29 Pike River coal miners who perished in the NZ mining tragedy with a painting gifted to the West Coast community.

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Wisse of Christchurch handed the painting over to Grey district mayor Tony Kokshoorn as a homage to the miners and those affected by the Pike river mining disaster. Wisse said she wanted the painting to be hung publicly as a visual memorial to the tragedy so visitors to Greymouth could pay their respects. She will also produce a special 500 print edition of the original painting with proceeds going to the mining disaster fund.

``I used the symbolic form of a strong, weathered mature tree, silhouetted against the early dawn light to represent your strong fathers, sons and husbands who left early to work deep in the earth on November 19,’’ she said in a note to the miner’s families attached to the painting.

``I have recorded 29 words mentioned by the Pike River chief executive and the mayor to remember, giving strength and solace to not only the families but to the entire nation.’’

The 29 words are: miners, confusion, terror, pain, bravery, families, sons, brothers, fathers, husbands, anger, frustration, fighters, strength, tears, heartbreak, grief, vigil, sorrow, prayers, stoic, friends, tragedy, solidarity, heartwarming, future, love, resilience, memories.

A special edition of 500 high quality prints of her original Pike River 29 painting is being offered to the public to help raise funds for the West Coast mining disaster appeal. Wisse has been overwhelmed with the public response to her painting and had received a flood of requests for a print.

Two months ago gave a painting to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the senator’s visit to NZ.  Wisse has been one of New Zealand’s most prolific artists of the last 10 years. She has exhibited her work throughout New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the UK and also has her paintings among private collections in New York, Australia and the UK.

Ends

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