Our Studio artists in Canterbury Museum exhibition
20 November 2014
Andrew Martin, placed second in this year’s IHC Art Awards, is one of 60 Christchurch artists whose artwork has been selected for the Outside In exhibition at the Canterbury Museum from 26 January to 22 February 2015.
Andrew is a client of Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau Trust, a kaupapa Maori health organisation supporting people with intellectual disabilities. He lives in supported accommodation in North Canterbury.
At Outside In, Andrew will exhibit one of his characteristic dog paintings, similar to the work awarded second place at the IHC Art Awards.
Andrew is one of eight artists who will exhibit work from Our Studio, the Rangiora art space where he attends art classes through Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau Trust.
The art space grew from Your Studio, based in the Christchurch Arts Centre but forced to close after the Christchurch earthquakes. Victoria Bennett, a former tutor at Your Studio, opened the new space in Rangiora three years ago after the Arts Centre was red-zoned.
“It was quite difficult after the earthquake, having to move about and try to find a regular space for our artists,” Victoria says. “Then Te Roopu offered a space for us to use. IDEA Services came on board shortly after.”
Te Roopu Taurima O Manukau Trust and IDEA Services each run two classes a week in the studio. Altogether, she teaches 20 students.
Victoria says that Your Studio focused primarily on fine arts while Our Studio has expanded its programme to include a range of artforms.
“I’ve found that most of the young men at Te Roopu like to be extended into more practical areas. At the moment, we’re making mirror frames and we’ve extended the programme to include things like screen printing and block printing, papermaking, paper mache and model making.”
Another important aim of Our Studio is to provide opportunities for the artists to exhibit their work. For Andrew and most of the other Our Studio artists, Outside In is not the first time their work has been exhibited.
“I’ve held two exhibitions in Rangiora in 2012 and 2013, and when I was at Your Studio, we held exhibitions every year until it closed in 2012,” Victoria says. “In fact, I’ve organised an exhibition at the Chamber Gallery in Rangiora around the same time as the Canterbury Museum exhibition.”
The Canterbury Museum exhibition will include artists with intellectual disability working from creative spaces around Christchurch; artists with lived experience of mental ill-health; local practising artists and art tutors; artists in prison; and emerging artists studying at the University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts.
There are also stone carvings from Bon Suter’s gallery, including work by a prolific sculptor who is blind and Deaf.
“We’re hoping this exhibition will be a rallying and encouraging event for everyone working in this sector – the artists, tutors and convenors,” Victoria says.
“It’s been quite difficult making things work since the earthquakes, with the constant moving to new spaces and the struggle to find spaces to exhibit artworks. Outside In will be special in that respect. We really need that boost.”