Thirty-five local artists, who had agreed to contribute all or part of sales in a Mahara Gallery exhibition to the gallery's redevelopment project, are determined that Covid-19 will not deter them.

Their work can be viewed and purchased as part of an online exhibition titled Reframed//lockdown, using the gallery's website and Facebook page.

Gallery director Janet Bayly said the idea for the show was conceived late last year before Covid-19 was even on the horizon.

Paekākāriki-based artist Harriet Bright suggested a show by Kāpiti artists using picture frames from Waikanae framing firm, Picture Perfect, that had been used originally for the Philipp Family Foundation-sponsored Children's Art and Environment exhibition.

Jane Santos' artwork called Foraging.
Jane Santos' artwork called Foraging.

"We gave the show the name, FrameUps, and Kāpiti artists were enthusiastic about the concept," Janet said.

"Artists were happy to donate either 100 per cent or 50 per cent of proceeds from sales to our redevelopment project.

"Work was coming in the door in early March, just as life was about to change for all of us with the response to Covid-19."

The gallery closed on March 21, just before lockdown on March 24.

Gallery staff set up home offices and started re-connecting again with artists and others in their immediate art ecosystem in the new world of social isolation.

An artwork by Trevor Pye. Photo / Nicola Pye
An artwork by Trevor Pye. Photo / Nicola Pye

"We were delighted that so many of the artists remained committed to the concept and supported a new online delivery platform for the show on the Mahara Gallery website, and also on our Facebook page.

"Several also responded to our amended title for the show: Re-framed//lockdown, with new work reacting to or reflecting the crisis.

"It has been another indication of how important the arts are to everyone and will continue to be in our new environment as we rebuild our mental health and emotional well-being and add beauty, ideas and strength to everyone's daily lives."


Janet said the gallery hoped that those viewing the images find something special that moves or touches them in the range of work presented, which has now broadened as the constraints of framing to a particular size and format were dropped.

Gallery staff have been adapting to working wholly in the new virtual platform.

"We hope to bring you more images and some conversations and interviews as well as we flesh out this ongoing show, and encourage you to interact with it through our Facebook page and support it however you can."

Ros Derby's artwork called Lockdown 1.
Ros Derby's artwork called Lockdown 1.

The gallery was also gradually mounting three shows on its website which closed earlier than planned due to Covid-19.

These include AMOKURA, by Erena Baker and Reweti Arapere; Let's NOT celebrate Cook by Robyn Kahukiwa, and Diane Connal Works in Cabinet SPACE.

Alongside the new show Re-framed//lockdown the gallery is also mounting a second show by Jack Register (1936-2018) Capital Views.

Janet said when the gallery can re-open again, hopefully at level 2, it plans to mount works in the gallery as well.

Visitors will continue to be limited to smaller groups and require contact tracing.