The Northland artist who painted artist Tony Fomison as he died is having an exhibition this week.
Merry Isaac, whose artwork will be on display at the Russell Town Hall on Friday November 30, studied with Fomison at Canterbury University's Ilam School of Fine Arts under Austrian tutor Rudi Gopas.
Most of her works are owned by private collectors, including the series of paintings she created of close friend Fomison dying while he was with her in the Bay of Islands on Waitangi Day 1990. But the remaining paintings, dating back to 1961, will be on display in her largest show in eight years.
"It just seemed like the right time to do it," she said. "I've got too many paintings - I can't get into my flat. I built a house when I first came to Russell 30 years ago and it's been steadily filling up [with paintings] ever since."
Her most recently completed painting for sale is one of a galaxy that she finished in the past two months. Art used for her 1992 animated film will also be on display, such as rocket ship or galaxy paintings. The film - Supernova Ova - is an artistic view of the journey of the sperm to the egg that will also be screened at the exhibition.
Her last exhibition of this size was eight years ago, at the Russell town hall in 2004. She last showed her animated film in a much smaller exhibition in 2007, but this time she has copies of it to give away. "You need to see it a couple of times before you can really appreciate it."
Aside from space themes, she also likes painting people and has done many portraits of locals.
Isaac and Fomison, along with Philip Clairmont, were all schooled by Rudi Gopas during his controversial tenure as tutor at the Fine Arts School.
The exhibition kicks off at 5.30pm tomorrow with a speech from poet Peter Dane, and goes until late. It's also open on Saturday from 9am till late. Entry fee is a koha donation.