Taranaki artist Amanda Hewlett is known for her atmospheric and moody works depicting changing New Zealand landscapes.

Her Conversational Conundrum exhibition at Gallery 85 in Whanganui is something of a departure.

"These paintings are about human memory and issues of how it lets people down as we grow older," says the artist.

Delicate white feathers floating on moving tides have been created by many layers of paint.


"I started reacting badly to oils and I now use Maimeri paints imported from Italy.

"They are acrylic but they behave like oils and work beautifully for the layers I like to create."

Hewlett says she has used up to 30 layers of different colours in some of the works in Conversational Conundrum and they represent the multifaceted nature of memory.

"I have used feathers to paint some of the layers.

"A friend of mine breeds large birds and it was both challenging and interesting to see the different effects I could achieve."

Hewlett says she spends a lot of time researching to find inspiration for her work and old diaries, photographs, drawings, and museum collections provide rich resources.

Conversational Conundrum is open for viewing at Gallery 85 in Glasgow St from Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 3pm until Saturday, February 16 and group exhibition Claytopia is showing next at the Rayner Brothers Gallery for the same duration.