Art makes do in tough times

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

An artis­tic group of friends are prov­ing high art isn’t all about fancy paints and ma­te­ri­als.

In­stead, Suzanne Levesque, Ta­nia Sunde and Joan Thurston are show­ing how to make the best with what they’ve got in their ex­hi­bi­tion called Make Do, on now at com­mu­nity gallery Te Karanga on K Rd.

Mt Al­bert res­i­dent Suzanne says the idea is to show that art can be in­ex­pen­sive.

“We’re all mak­ing do at the mo­ment,” says Ta­nia.

For her col­lec­tion, called Over The Top Suits, Suzanne dec­o­rated suits bought from a lo­cal op­shop with hi­bis­cus flow­ers from a $2 store.

She hopes art stu­dents vis­it­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion will dis­cover that money for ma­te­ri­als doesn’t have to be an is­sue.

“You don’t have to be rush­ing off to the shops to buy can­vasses and paints ev­ery five min­utes.”

The women, who met while study­ing at White­cliffe Col­lege of Art and De­sign, say en­cour­ag­ing and sup­port­ing each other since leav­ing the school has been the key to keep­ing mo­ti­vated.

“When you leave art school a lot of peo­ple don’t con­tinue with it,” says Suzanne.

“But we’ve had this ed­u­ca­tion, we’ve paid for it. We’ve got to use it.”

Ta­nia’s piece in the ex­hi­bi­tion, ti­tled Sense of Place, is a cel­e­bra­tion of liv­ing in Pt Che­va­lier for 17 years, she says.

In­spired by the area’s coastal land­scape, the three can­vasses are a col­lage of Ta­nia’s own pho­to­graphs and paint­ings, mod­elled on a map of the sub­urb. She says all four of her works in the ex­hi­bi­tion rep­re­sent Pt Che­va­lier in some way.

Ta­nia, who has type 1 di­a­betes, says ex­press­ing her­self through art has helped her deal a lot with the de­bil­i­tat­ing con­di­tion.

She says the di­a­betes, which is dif­fi­cult to live with and re­quires four in­jec­tions a day, has over­taken her life, but art has given her some­thing pos­i­tive to fo­cus on.

In her work for the ex­hi­bi­tion, Joan has used old fabrics and found ob­jects such as shells and feathers she’s col­lected.

Make Do is on now at Te Karanga Gallery at 208 K Rd un­til March 31.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Bud­get art: Ta­nia Sunde, left, and Suzanne Levesque with their pieces in the Make Do ex­hi­bi­tion.

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