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Two New Exhibitions At The Ashburton Art Gallery

The team at the Ashburton Art Gallery are excited to see the opening of two new exhibitions this Wednesday the 12th of August that combine the skills of local artists with the lyrical and painterly magic of one of New Zealand’s art laureates.

The local members of the Ashburton Creative Fibre Group will be celebrating their golden anniversary with the exhibition Celebrating Fibrecrafts, a showcase of both natural fibre and the creativity and skills of those who use it.

The Ashburton Creative Fibre Group (formerly Ashburton Spinners and Weavers) was formed in July 1970 and currently has around 50 members. These members are skilled in a range of fibre-related techniques, such as spinning, dyeing, weaving, needle crafts and felting, and actively encourage the use of traditional skills. This exhibition will feature handcrafted garments and articles, all created from natural fibre. Visitors will also gain insight into processes and fibre preparation, as well as various fibrecraft techniques.

The second new show opening on Wednesday, The Wading Birds of Drybread, will feature work by prominent New Zealand artist, Gregory O’Brien. O’Brien’s works may be familiar to Ashburton residents as he contributed to the Ashburton Art Gallery’s 2018 show The Water Project.

In 2018 the Wellington-based artist and writer, and his wife, poet Jenny Bornholdt, lived and worked in the Henderson House, Alexandra. Having spent much of his life until then near the coast and usually within sight of the sea, the move to Central Otago opened up a new territory. Based in Alexandra, a few kilometres from the furthest point in New Zealand from the ocean, he and his wife became the seemingly displaced ‘wading birds’ in the exhibition title (the ‘Drybread’ in the title is a settlement not far from Alexandra.) The works in the first part of the exhibition are an account of how the year in the region was spent.

The second part of this exhibition extends beyond the South Island to revisit Raoul Island and the Kermadec waters. The works attest to time spent at Meretoto/Ship Cove, Aniwaniwa and beside Te Whanganui a Tara/Wellington Harbour. In the artist’s mind, the movement the paintings trace through space and time is both ecological and autobiographical.

The opening of these two unique exhibitions will begin at 6pm and will be accompanied by a floor talk by Gregory O’Brien and Jenny Bornholdt.

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