Four Hawke's Bay artists are showcasing a wide range of artistic styles at the Hastings Community Arts Centre in a joint exhibition, which opens on Monday.

In the Upstairs Gallery, Christine Parnell and Gail Davidson are presenting "The Long and the Short of It", a title derived from the artists' differing statures and very different styles of painting.

Parnell and Davidson met through the Humanity Painters' Group tutored by Helen Kerridge, quickly becoming good friends. As with their heights, the two artists have very different artistic styles. Parnell ("the tall one") has a more realistic style of painting while Davidson ("the short one") describes her work as being "as far from photo realistic as the sun is from the moon".

"Mine represents more realistically the subject that I am painting while Gail has a quirky humour which runs through all her work," Parnell said.


Both women have enjoyed considerable success with their art, with Parnell having been invited to participate in the Rotary ArtX exhibition in Napier in 2015, and the Napier Girls' High School Affordable Art Exhibition in 2015 and 2016. Davidson has also exhibited widely and in 2015 was one of two recipients of a Forsyth Barr Scholarship awarded as part of a Creative Art Hawke's Bay exhibition.

In the Downstairs Gallery, Hawke's Bay artist Don Wilkie is presenting a series of more than 40 works, featuring both oil paintings and line drawings.

Known for his finely detailed aviation works, Wilkie has developed a large following, with the majority of his works sold overseas, and some held by the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland.

Returning to the Hastings Community Art Centre after an 18-month absence, Wilkie has called the exhibition "Home Coming". Along with a selection of his aviation works, Wilkie is exhibiting landscapes, portraits and nature-inspired artworks.

Sharing the downstairs gallery space with Wilkie is Indonesian-born artist Dali Susanto, with an exhibition titled "What a Day". Described by the artist as "paintings of everyday life", the new series of more than 20 works will feature bold use of colour, in stark contrast to his previous exhibition of black and white paintings.

Growing up in Indonesia with his gallery-owning parents, Susanto developed his love of art and has enjoyed considerable success since settling in New Zealand in 2007. He has exhibited in a number of galleries.