2015 Exhibition Report

Art in a Garden 2015 was a triumph, after months in the planning we delivered a four day event that all involved can be proud of. We had some rain on the first day which really set the garden of looking lush and colourful for the following 3 days, and providing some comfort for our local farmers. Visitors and buyers arrived undaunted by the rain and enjoyed their day, dressed for the occasion! The following three days showed North Canterbury at its finest. Penny Zino’s Flaxmere looked exquisite, lawns, ponds and plantings all beautifully groomed creating the perfect backdrop to this year’s collection of sculpture.

Julie Butler’s Mademoiselles were much admired, set at the end of a long pond, they intrigued us; where were they going and why? A short walk through a hedged path led us to Elisha Jordan’s Memory of Trees a sculpture of a deer with fanciful antlers. Not far away were some sophisticated work by Matthew Williams such as the Butterfly Effect and Conundrum, which came into their own when the wind gently moved them. From here the paths led us into a garden of native plants where more work both static and kinetic fascinated the viewer.

A beautiful carving Karearea of Dunedin volcanic rock welcomed us into a far part of the garden and at the end of the main lawn stood a handsome stag On Watch by Bill Clarke. With the mountain vista behind the stag, he looked as if he was just passing by. Mark Mitchell’s Ladder and untitled lady with and umbrella nearby by Allan O’Loughlin stood elegantly outside the main home.

Karen Walter’s hanging Golden Rock Pods were a sell out and the last of the collection she will be making, such a beautiful creation. Jim Wheeler’s Regeneration Oak Garden Fork and Spade are magnificent bronze pieces, which looked very much at home in the garden. Around the pool the guest sculptor Johnny Turner honoured us with his beautiful work. Loveseat was particularly admired. The garden as a gallery showcases the creativity of New Zealand artists.

In our Barn Gallery there was a constant buzz of appreciative visitors. Work by jewellers, ceramicists, painters and glass artists were sophistically displayed on white plinths as was jewellery in hanging vitrines. Staff were kept busy dealing with happy customers. Tom Calder was our emerging artist this year and he had a sellout, we wish him the very best for his creative future. Tom is in his final year at Boys High in Christchurch, his work show great promise.

Thank you to Richard Adams this year’s guest artist who held a two-day painting work-shop that was well received. His abstract style looked simple but had its challenges. Thank you to the Garden Café which was a huge hit providing lovely lunches and beverages to enjoy with the music playing just across the stream.

Opera singer Rhona Fraser and pianist Richard Mapp entertained us even in the rain with arias from Bellini and Chopin on Thursday and Friday followed by the Nairobi Trio on Saturday and Sunday. St Johns staff were on hand with a raffle in the Barn and with the support of our visitors we have made a fantastic contribution to both St John and the Cancer Society.

Visitors came from all over New Zealand and Australia. There was something for everyone with different styles of sculpture, decorative work, major fine art, some whimsical, some serious, some intriguing.

The AIAG Team would like to thank you all for your support this year and look forward to 2016. We love the opportunity to present such a wide scope of works from artists all around New Zealand. Art makes us look and art makes us wonder.

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