Lynn Hurst considers the painstaking work she put into her new latest exhibition to be "almost abnormal behaviour".
The Whanganui artist is exhibiting her new collection Gambling Paradise at the WHMilbank Gallery.
Hurst moved to New Zealand from the USA in 1993 and WHMilbank Gallery owner Bill Milbank organised her first local exhibition, The Deconstructed Self, at the Sarjeant five years later, when he was that gallery's director.
The new exhibition showcases months, if not years, of painstaking work. Each piece is comprised of objects Hurst has scanned into her computer and worked on digitally, before rearranging them into an entirely new configuration.
"I consider it almost abnormal behaviour," Hurst said.
"It's obsessive compulsive in the sense that I scan something, like the tui that's in these works, and it comes out and you see all these scratches on the scanner bed and there are microscopic bugs crawling around making little rainbow trails.
"I then go in and take all that stuff away, unless it's a really good bug that's managed to stay still."
Hurst said this intricate process was applied to "everything" in her exhibition.
"If something has feathers that means that every little feather has to be cut out separately, and a lot of what I do is on a pixel level. I do have to stop myself sometimes. That's why an exhibition is good for me, it's a deadline.
"I was talking to my brother, who's a musician, and he said he does the same thing with his music. There are things that are behind and underneath that no one knows has been done, but it does make a difference in the outcome.
"We seem to have a bit of an obsessive thing running in our family."
Hurst's artworks could often change as they went along, she said, and there might be different "versions" of the finished piece.
"With all the Vanitas works I've had a floating version and a table version," she said.
"Things like tables often have over 1000 layers in Photoshop. The files are about 7 gigabytes, they're ridiculous. It keeps me busy though, off the streets and out of trouble."
Hurst's creative process begins with an object being scanned at a "super high resolution" on an A3 medical grade scanner.
"I don't want to things to look unreal, and I'm not airbrushing anything to make it smooth and shiny. I just get rid of the distracting elements.
"I end up with a lot of dead things in my freezer, because you never know when you might need them. Sometimes I go to the freezer, pick something out, and wonder 'what is this thing?'."
Wealth, and ownership of objects are themes that featured in her works.
"It's not necessarily making a negative statement about acquiring wealth, it's more about wanting people to think about the ramifications of consumerism," Hurst said.
"For example, the yams I used came from the Andes originally, and got over here somehow. The more things I scan and research, the more I find that they've been introduced.
"We have to accept that it's a global world, and that we're all influenced by each other."
* Gambling Paradise runs at the WHMilbank Gallery (1B Bell St) until December 6.