Long before the word "repurposing" entered our vocabulary, Canterbury artist Simon Ogden was salvaging discarded objects to make art.

He has been using beautifully patterned linoleum in his artworks since the 1970s and some of those early works are included in his Landscape & Artifact (2018) exhibition showing at Milbank Gallery in Whanganui.

"The linoleum found in New Zealand was imported from Holland or Scotland - it was never manufactured here," Ogden says.

"Rather than being glued to the floorboards, it was laid on top of a layer of newspaper so the time of its manufacture could be fairly accurately guessed at."


Included in the exhibition is Ka kata ngā tonu pūriri o Taiamai - a collection of eight panels which Ogden says were inspired by his time at an archaeological dig in New Zealand's Far North District.

"It means 'the puriri trees of Taiamai are laughing still' and I loved the phrase."

The works, completed in 2017, are made with inlaid linoleum with 24-carat gold leaf, silver and copper leaf, montage, oil paint and charcoal.

Other works in the exhibition have been created with similar materials and some are made on old wooden pallets once used to store china.

"When Royal Doulton closed down I bought some of their pallets," Ogden says.

"The wood is beautifully aged and has a really nice history."

Gallery owner Bill Milbank has a long association with the artist and says he always enjoys exhibiting Ogden's work.

Landscape & Artifact (2018) is open for viewing at 1B Bell St until May 27.