CAN general manager Lisa Feyen.
Carole Cornes at work on her botanicals
Julienne Dickey with her quirky ceramic figures.
by Lisa Feyen
This Friday, April 9, 5-7pm marks the opening celebration of a new exhibition that challenges the notions of identity, place and perception.
Elysian Fields will showcase the work of accomplished artist Carole Cornes and her son Richard Cornes, and will be accompanied by a free, interactive floor talk on Saturday, April 10 at 1pm.
Although contrasting in style and content, from fine botanical painting by Carol, to bold abstracts by Richard, this exhibition is about the journey of identity. Not just the conscious identities we tick boxes for on census forms, but identities explicit and tacit, conscious and unconscious, dialogues with our pasts, presents, and surroundings.
Carole's work is presented as a retrospective, and present, of a life of drawing and painting. For Carole drawing began with picking wild flowers to draw and press, while walking the fields around the English village she grew up in, with her mother and grandmother.
Before moving to New Zealand in 1960 she studied at the Birmingham School of Art. Busy through much of the late 60s, 70s and 80s, with raising two sons, and at times working part-time, her art always continued in the background, a space for reflection and meditation.
We are extremely lucky to be joined by Professor Emeritus, Roger Horrocks, who will travel to Napier to officially open the exhibition at 5.30pm on April 9.
Roger Horrocks is the biographer of Len Lye, and librettist of Len Lye – the Opera. He has written extensively on Kiwi culture, and will be accompanied by his wife and leading NZ documentary maker, Shirley Horrocks. Both leading figures in their fields, they are happy to meet and talk with all attendees. All welcome and light refreshments will be served.
The project is the brainchild of Richard Cornes, an artist who thinks deeply about the creative process. He will be highlighting the importance of developing creativity within every profession in his floor talk on Saturday, even if it's not usually considered to be a creative career choice.
Richard is a professor of law, but uses the creative process in his teaching and encourages his students to use these methods to unlock deeper understanding.
A premise of the exhibition is that artistic expression – whether a simple doodle in a meeting, through to 'real works of art' – is the 'royal road' to gaining some insight into understanding why we see our worlds, whether work or personal, as we do. A road to uncovering a deep understanding of ourselves, and the communities we are a part of.
Opening on the same night, Friday, April 9 at 5-7pm, is Reflective Collections, an exhibition by emerging artist Lisa Cunliffe who draws her inspiration from the beauty of the natural world.
From mini geodes to large wall hangings, each piece is finished with a luxurious reflective finish which captivates the eye and invites the admirer to appreciate the deeper intricacies of colour and form. Come along and meet the artist behind the work and enjoy light refreshments. Lisa's exhibition will be on display in the Small Gallery until Thursday, April 15.
Following on from this exhibition, from April 16 be sure to catch Other?, an exhibition of ceramics by Julienne Dickey. Julienne completed her Bachelor of Professional Creative Practice (Honours) at EIT in 2018, specialising in ceramics. Julienne likes to explore the humanity of human beings and issues of social justice (sometimes with humour), to find the beauty in the quirky and the imperfect and overlooked.
Alongside these beautiful and thought-provoking new exhibitions, take some time to explore the other galleries at CAN. In the foyer area for April you will discover another two new micro-exhibitions by artists Anna Hill and Trish Dempsey, who both coincidentally enjoy painting subjects from other cultures.
Trish Dempsey has been painting for 20 years. What started as a love for folk art, has since developed into a love affair with Africa and the beautiful animals that live there.
Anna Hill chooses to evoke a warm happy emotion with most of her work and likes to paint women and children. Drawn to bright colours and different cultures, she loves to learn about the people she draws, and admires their uniqueness and creativity.
Now, if that's not enough to keep you busy, this week is your last chance to purchase tickets for the upcoming concert at CAN amongst the art on Saturday, April 10. Popular Hawke's Bay singer/songwriter 'Stretch' will perform in the Main Gallery from 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets are available for purchase at just $23 each from the front desk at Creative Arts Napier or online at Eventfinda.
Refreshments will be available for purchase from the CAN bar and you can enjoy a freshly cooked and delicious big pan paella made right here at CAN before the show. Doors will open at 6.30pm. Numbers are strictly limited so don't miss out.
The Call for Artists is now out for the upcoming 2021 Hawke's Bay Art Review, the biennial selected exhibition and competition for all artists with links to Hawke's Bay which will be exhibited in September at CAN. The deadline is Friday, July 9, so check out the information available on the CAN website www.thecan.co.nz.
We look forward to welcoming you to CAN on your next visit.
■ Lisa Feyen is the general manager for Creative Arts Napier (CAN), 16 Byron St. CAN is open seven days a week from Monday to Saturday, 10am-4pm and Sunday, 10am-2pm. Free entry. Info: 835-9448, thecan.co.nz or Facebook.