Two local artists have joined forces to create a stunning exhibition at Levin's cultural centre, Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, examining aspects of nature in different mediums.

This joint project showcases the work of painter Gill Allen and jeweller Paula Dixon, with both using nature as a significant influence for both their works.

Allen, a renowned local painter and musician, uses acrylics to interpret the beauty and colour of the natural forms around her, while Dixon gleans inspiration from the forms and shapes of plants and animals.

Artists Gill Allen (left) and Paula Dixon are currently exhibiting in Levin.
Artists Gill Allen (left) and Paula Dixon are currently exhibiting in Levin.

Allen said she and Dixon had decided to put the exhibition together after meeting by chance at a dinner party.

Advertisement

"Paula had recently moved to Levin from Nelson where she owned her own gallery," Allen said.

"She showed me some of her work, which was just stunning and I asked if she would like to exhibit with me at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-po.

"We worked together around the theme of nature; and the resulting exhibition is a colourful collection of paintings and jewellery around this theme; flowers, plants, moths, leaves and some colourful abstractions."

Dixon said she had recently returned to live in the area after two decades away.

She is a leadlighter and manufacturing jeweller by trade, as well as a painter and a ceramic, fabric and fibre artist in her spare time, she said.

"Creating jewellery is a way to express myself," she said.

"Over the years my style has changed and evolved, transitioning from classic, traditional styles to one-off bespoke designs, to a more relaxed, almost playful feel."

Moth pendant by jeweller Paula Dixon, part of an exhibition in Levin.
Moth pendant by jeweller Paula Dixon, part of an exhibition in Levin.

Allen uses acrylic, pastel and print techniques to demonstrate her love of vibrant colour, with nature supplying an abundance of subject matter.

Advertisement

She said her main influences stemmed from impressionist painters with design elements from the Art Nouveau period also incorporated in her work.

"I want to use colours and themes that are uplifting to our human spirit," she said.
"[They] cause us to appreciate the vibrancy of nature, to love our natural surroundings for their unique, chaotic but purposeful presence and impact on our existence."

The exhibition, titled Nature's Colour and Form, will run throughout September in Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō main space.