Asia has big role in artist's achievements

By, Merania Karauria

Former Wanganui son Hamish Horsley has made fleeting visits home, with home now being close to his parents at Coromandel.

An exhibition of a collection of his sculptures and paintings is open in the WHMilbank Gallery until March 17.

After 30 years in London, Mr Horsley closed his studio, sold his apartment and shipped everything home. He worked in London as a professional artist and teacher and built an impressive reputation with many significant and often monumental public art commissions and private projects.

A notable work in Wanganui is his bronze Leapfroggers on the lawn at Virginia Lake, and in 1996 his exhibition of photographs Near to Heaven, Travels through Tibet was shown at the Sarjeant Gallery.

Mr Horsley teaches art part-time in south Thailand and, over the past 10 years, has worked with traditional stone carvers in India on a project run by the Craft Council of India.

"I have travelled in and out of India most of my life," he said.

The vibrant colours in his paintings capture the spirit, energy and movement he sees in the land.

The sculptured pieces have been formed from the hard labour and technique that shaped their fluid forms.

Mr Horsley headed overseas after studies at the Christchurch Ilam School of Art. He returned briefly in the '60s to coordinate the successful Serenity Arts Festival before further travels to South-East Asia and India.

In 1976 he returned to London and graduated with a Master's Degree in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art in 1986.

His work is found throughout the UK, Northern Europe, the Middle East and more recently India, Vietnam and Thailand, where he teaches art and creative practice at Walailak University.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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