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Natasha Bethune

natasha-bethune-aotearoa-artistTHE ART OF INNER HEALING

At the age of 18, Natasha Bethune tells us of her hardships and how she is devoted to her art and the healing she receives from creating.

Drawing is all that I’ve ever known - as a kid it’s all that I remember doing. My heart aches thinking about pursuing anything other than art. I love being alone in nature. Any place of solitude, that forces me to think and feel whilst listening to deep emotional music that conjures memories and beautiful desires of ‘what if’s and I wishes’.

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Simon Lundqvist

Simon Lundqvist-aotearoa-artistPATIENCE, PERSERVERANCE AND TALENT

One of Simon Lundqvist’s obstacles was to overcome spending some time in a wheelchair after an accident and having to relearn how to walk. “It was a really horrible experience, but I got through it, and in retrospect the whole thing taught me a lot of patience and perseverance. Now the only thing I have left from that ordeal is a very characteristic gait, and a different outlook on life really.”

This left Simon Lundqvist experiencing difficulty with concentration and a lot of free time on his hands. He became obsessed with drawing and sketching, finding he could focus on this and it made him feel better. “I think that single-mindedness really helped me to learn and develop. Ever since childhood I have been infatuated the idea of being an artist and this has grown stronger over time. I’m just really in love with the process of painting and I can think of nothing better than spending my days making art.”

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Simon Kerr

Simon-Kerr-aotearoa-artistSIMON KERR

One-time member of the infamous Hole-in-the-Wall gang, prison escapee and activist, Simon Kerr has turned his remarkable talents to painting, creating a body of work which is both narrative and allegorical, the story of his life and redemption and a commentary on the place of human beings in the world. These works are often autobiographical in nature, exploring Kerr’s controversial history and his Devonport upbringing.

Simon Kerr gained notoriety in the 1980s when he set up the Hole in the Wall Gang (complete with t-shirts!). He also made headlines throughout the 1980s for numerous escapes from custody, including from Mt Eden and Paremoremo prisons. He stowed away on a cargo ship to Australia after escaping from Mt Eden in 1987. In 1994 he mounted a 13-day rooftop turret protest against remand conditions in Mt Eden that ended with the Armed Offenders’ Squad forcibly bringing him down.

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Adult Colouring In – Mitchell Manuel

COLOURING IN - ALSO AN ADULT PAST-TIME

Colouring in books have moved from the children’s toy-box into the hands of adults all over New Zealand and the world. A number of local artists have already published or are in the process of producing adult colouring books and according to recent report in the NZ Herald sales are rocketing, there are even colouring in clubs and a number of Facebook pages like Kiwis who Colour and Kiwi Colourers.

It’s not so much that people are suddenly finding their artistic roots they are using the practice of colouring in and blending of colours as a way to relax, de-stress and self-express.

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Andrew Carter

CHALLENGING COLOUR

Oil pastel artist Andrew Carter learned he was colour blind at the age of nine when he argued with his teacher over his choice of selecting yellow instead of green for the grass and red for the bark on the trees in a school painting.

It certainly didn’t put him off painting and drawing and why should it have? Some famous artists such as Constable, Picasso and van Gogh are thought to have been colour blind and they did well. It is, after all, a simple matter of perception, not skill or technique.

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Alan Williams

OUTLAW ARTIST

There has always been something indefinable about motorcycling and motorbikes. Perhaps it is the independent nature of man and machine that sets them apart from the general populace or because bikes and bikers have long been associated with outlaws and gangs - the ‘one percenters’. Life-long biker Whangarei-based Alan Williams is a ‘one percenter’ but he is not an outlaw, he just thinks differently to most folks.

Alan doesn’t go out of his way to break the rules he just does it as a matter of course. That’s the way he is. A fabrication engineer by profession and a full-blooded biker at heart Alan has another side to his character – he is an avid watercolourist. No one taught Alan how to paint; he just picked up a brush and did it. No doubt his technical and engineering grounding guided his hand and enabled his approach but then, with his chosen subject being motorcycles, this was, quite fortunate.

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Michael Angelo Burke

aotearoa-artist-michael-angelo-bourkeHERITAGE ART

A carver and painter of murals and pictures, portraying an individual style unique in New Zealand, Michael Angelo Burke’s inspiration comes from the spiritual aspects of nature.

The themes of his work reflect a childhood spent playing among native trees, observing wildlife in the Coromandel native bush and extensive travel to National Parks of the world, including USA, Canada, Alaska, Australia and UK.
“I express this inspiration by combining the disciplines of drawing, carving and painting. I don’t plan my artworks - they just flow from my life experiences.” Michael Angelo says.

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