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‘Kiwi Bacon Yellow Bus’ Artweek exhibition

‘Kiwi Bacon Yellow Bus’ Artweek exhibition, paintings by Sam RB

Kiwi Bacon Yellow Bus is Sam RB’s third solo exhibition, and her second time featuring in Artweek Auckland. Following on a career as a musician, she has been painting full time for two years now and doesn't see a return to music anytime soon.

“I just feel like I've found my place in the world, and it’s with paint not songwriting for the time being. To be honest, I often felt musical performance was an odd fit for me. Every day I was greeted with a mountain of anxiety to navigate. So I’m really enjoying the solitude and internal peace that painting facilitates.”

Music still influences Sam RB’s painting. There's the ‘Queen Street Acoustics’ painting inspired by her third album’s cover (designed by Tim Ingle); the ‘Rocket ST2012’, a nod to Stand Tall, New Zealand's Olympic Song that she wrote for the 2012 London Olympics; and of course there are the acoustic guitars and vinyl records that she uses as canvases.

Maybe the biggest musical influence though was learning to live as an independent musician.

“I’m not doing anything new or special. I just figured if I could self-fund and sell 6000 albums as an independent musician over 4 years, then why not transfer that process to visual art? So I leased a space at Ponsonby Central for Artweek (October 10 – 16). I’ve been painting 12 hours a day for 9 months now for the opportunity to fill a 5 metre wall with my art for just one week. I'm excited and nervous by both the possibilities and the risk .”

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The exhibition pieces are all brightly coloured and feature nostalgic and iconic images of Ponsonby and greater Auckland. There’s a series of monarch butterflies, and imagined pohutukawa apple trees and the iconic Morris Minor feature widely. The only people in the paintings are the ‘Morris’ drivers, and they are purposely blue to avoid excluding any one group of people.

“I want to be inclusive of all people and the only way I could manage that was by excluding everyone,” said Sam.

There are other more subtle inclusive themes within the paintings, that acknowledge and validate the experience of anxiety, psychosis and dissociation. Sam RB will be onsite each day, and welcomes people to pop in and talk to her about her paintings. She would enjoy the conversation, and invites visitors to enter the draw for one of 3 prints while they’re there.

‘Kiwi Bacon Yellow Bus’ opens at Ponsonby Central (Shop 8, opposite Tokyo Club) 5pm Monday October 10th and runs until October 16th.


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