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Artists head underground for new exhibition

Press Release

Artists head underground for new exhibition

An underground vault in a winery cellar is not your typical art space, but it’s perfect for The Paper Rain Project’s latest collaboration.

The Marlborough design company’s exhibition of 40 skate and longboards, each uniquely painted or etched by one of 21 New Zealand artists, begins on June 9 at Framingham Wine’s underground cellar.

Indigo and Wills Rowe say their boards get people to think about art in a different way, and the utilitarian space, which is completely at odds with typical white-walled galleries, can do the same thing.

Some of the beautiful boards have been forged from recycled oak barrels, including those from Framingham, and may wear the stains of the pinot noir they once served.

That makes the cellar the perfect place for the artworks, says Framingham Managing Director Tom Trolove. “The Paper Rain Project has taken this incredible wood, that’s been at work with wine for years, repurposed it into a beautiful object, and then called on established and new artists to take the transformation one step further. It’s fantastic to now be showing them in our underground cellar.”

Indigo says most of the boards given to artists for their one of a kind works were maple and bamboo, but the exhibition will include some “in house” boards made from French oak staves, along with barrel collaborations with well-known New Zealand artists Michel Tuffery, Flox and Milarky. “It’s exciting for us to have a show close to home and to bring our barrel boards back to the winery,” she says.

A 2016 Kickstarter campaign helped the development of The Paper Rain Project’s longboards, made from the oak staves of used barrels sourced from a handful of Marlborough wine companies. Wills takes the best pieces and handcrafts them into the gleaming, smooth lines of a longboard, which are usually laser etched with Indigo’s elegant motifs – native birds, plants, or a chisel and paint brush.

Indigo says their own work is satisfying, but the exhibition represents the power of collaboration, with the artists involved all bringing something different to the vault, whether through vibrant hand painted boards or the detailed wood-burned pieces by Tuffery.

“Wood makes a beautiful canvas and we are so honoured to work with some incredibly talented artists. Particularly for our few barrel board collaborations, the resulting works show an artist’s take on our product, which is always unique and exciting."

When not exhibiting their board art, the young pair sell their longboards online or at their Picton store, along with t-shirts that are made in India by women escaping the sex trade, then imprinted with the work of artists from around the world. Everything The Paper Rain Project does has a backstory and an environmental or social role and goal, says Indigo.

"We're trying to move more into the role of a social enterprise and a platform for creative products which can give back to the community we live in. Part of this is maintaining our Picton store and having more events close to home.”

For more information on the exhibition go to #FraminghamUnderground on the “Boards” page of

© Scoop Media

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