Three new exhibitions from Whanganui artists Anthony Davies, Jason Dufty, and Kieran Donnelly opened at Space Gallery on St Hill Street on Wednesday.
Dufty said his work, Mirabilia 1905–2020, was based on a box of polaroid photos he had kept from his travels around the world 25 years ago.
"Rather than just have them sitting in a box I thought it would be nice to repurpose them, so I took the ones that I didn't think worked as images and cut them up into collages," Dufty said.
"It's mixed media, and there's little bits of drawing and printmaking, and little bits of paint that's worked onto the polaroids.
"The idea was to create little narratives that held memories for me and to take old stuff and make it new."
Dufty, who is a graphic and visual communication teacher at Whanganui High School, said he usually made much larger paintings but his studio in the Thain Building was destroyed when it burned down last year.
"I was forced onto my kitchen table, really. It all came about, as a lot of the art lately has come about, during lockdown and having some free time on my hands."
Printmaker Anthony Davies, who founded Hotspur Studio in Aramoho in 2002, said his exhibition featured works from a 1985 collection called The Wasteland, which he'd made on his bedroom floor in Northern Ireland.
"They're on Japanese paper which is very light, so what you do is ink up your piece of lino and you can put the paper on the top," Davies said.
"You just rub it with it a burin and the image comes through.
"One really important one is the miners' strike which was happening at the time, which split the British working class and was almost like brother against brother and hamlet against hamlet."
The modern series, entitled Marathon Man 19, was based on events that had happened in the past 12 months, Davies said.
"There is a thing about politicians, a thing about Covid, and another about refugees.
"It's fairly self-explanatory, but the idea of doing things in colour gives it a bit more heightened intensity.
"Everybody has their own way of using colour and mine is quite an emotional take on it.
"There's a marathon man at the beginning, middle, and end, so it's just passing through life so to speak.
Like Dufty, painter Kieran Donnelly also moved to Whanganui two years ago.
"One of my favourite things to do with painting is not design the painting," Donnelly said.
"It's kind of like improvised music, you don't know what you're going to come up with, and often you wouldn't have thought to go that way necessarily."
Dufty said the works in his series, Astral Seasons, began by messily applying paint to the canvas and staring into it "for quite some time" to see what came out at him.
"I'm not trying to paint anything in particular, so I end up with relatively figurative surrealism I suppose.
"That's the basic idea around this, to go with it as much as possible and not be too precious about what I'm painting."
The exhibitions run until September 26.