Artist delivers on her promise

By Laurilee McMichael


When Larissa Meredith won a Karen Aim scholarship five years ago, she said to Karen's parents Peggy and Brian that she would personally deliver the finished artwork to Karen's home of Orkney off the northern coast of Scotland.

And while she says she doubted that the Aims believed her, Larissa, 22, will fulfil that promise today when she and her parents, Jane and Kim Meredith, arrive in Orkney for a four-day visit.

They will be bringing with them a beautiful handcrafted lantern made by Larissa from rimu veneer and acrylic, an artwork she crafted to fulfil one of the conditions of the Karen Aim Memorial Art Scholarship.

Karen Aim, 26, was a backpacker from the Orkney Islands, who was living and working in Taupo when she was fatally bashed by teenager Jahche Broughton as she walked home from a night out in 2008.

After her death, the Karen Aim Memorial Art Scholarship was set up in Taupo, and each year it awards $2000 to a Taupo college student to study art at tertiary level. Each recipient is asked to produce an artwork for the scholarship by the end of their art studies.

Larissa, who has completed an industrial design degree at Victoria University of Wellington and would like to train as a glassblower, made the lantern during her last year at university. She says while trying to decide what to make for the scholarship was extremely difficult, the project itself was not too time-consuming.

"I'd drawn it all up on the computer and then I cut it all out with a laser cutter and then joined it all together," Larissa said.

"But thinking what to make took a million hours."

Once the lantern was complete, Larissa fitted it with an electric battery-operated candle which flickered like a flame.

She said while she took her time deciding on a suitable artwork, she knew she wanted to do something that played with light.

"It's a really symbolic thing for someone who's passed away and you have always lit candles in church," she said.

Larissa's is the second artwork to be completed for the scholarship. The first, Kate Bevan's White Torso with Flowers was presented to Karen Aim's family in Orkney last year.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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