Doris Lusk and the ice cream con­nec­tion

Christchurch Mail - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ANNA PRICE

Happy out­ings with five sib­lings crammed in their grand­mother’s Mini in­spired Christchurch ce­ramic artist Tatyanna Me­harry’s tan­ta­lis­ing ice cream sculp­tures.

Me­harry, grand­daugh­ter of cel­e­brated New Zealand artist Doris Lusk, is among a record num­ber of sculp­tors tak­ing part in the 10th an­niver­sary of the South Is­land’s largest con­tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tion, Sculp­ture on the Penin­sula, at Loudon Farm, Ted­ding­ton, Novem­ber 10-12.

Me­harry does a lot of work with mul­ti­ples, ’’so in­stead of mak­ing one ice cream, I make 20. They are a very gen­er­ous ice cream, about 20cm long. If you were hold­ing one you would happy.’’

Hers are topped with glit­ter­ing glass bead ‘hun­dreds and thou­sands’, their jewel colours de­not­ing their ‘flavours’, rem­i­nis­cent of nos­tal­gic spots around Christchurch and Banks Penin­sula.

‘‘I did some work on Doris last year and started on ice blocks.’’ Me­harry said. ‘‘Then I moved on to think­ing about ice cream.

‘‘When we were grow­ing up, my mother’s spe­cial treat on Sun­day was to stay home in peace. Usu­ally Nana would squash us in her tiny Mor­ris and drive us any­where there was scenery and use the trips as ex­cuse to paint. If we were good, we’d get ice­creams in cones.’’

Much of her work smacks of nos­tal­gia. ‘‘Ev­ery­one’s life is so busy, you some­times for­get to re­flect – like when summer comes around and you’d have that drive to beach or the river. That’s the kind of thing you re­mem­ber.’’

Me­harry, who with her sis­ter Natasha English won the Supreme Award in the World of Wear­able Arts Awards in Welling­ton in 2013, gained a Bachelor of Fine Arts de­gree at the Otago School of Art in jew­ellery and tex­tiles and a Masters in Fine Arts in Com­mu­nity Art Ed­u­ca­tion from Otago Poly­tech­nic.

She now teaches ceram­ics for a third of the time, the rest is exhi-

‘‘Ev­ery so of­ten, life kicks you up the bum.’’

bi­tion work from her St As­aph St stu­dio. She sells her ceram­ics whole­sale around New Zealand.

‘‘Ev­ery so of­ten, life kicks you up the bum. That’s what hap­pened in the earth­quakes. It’s a lifestyle choice. It’s not about bring­ing in money.’’

It was the smell of clay in her grand­mother’s pot­tery stu­dio that lin­gered as Me­harry grew up. ‘‘That was some­thing we were al­lowed to do in her stu­dio space. Clay has a spe­cial smell. I just de­cided that was it.’’


Tatyanna Me­harry with a bunch of her ice­cream ceram­ics, among her works to be shown at the 10th Banks Penin­sula Sculp­ture Ex­hi­bi­tion in Novem­ber.

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