Hands-on art a win­ner


A box of wishes and fan­tasies has en­tranced Porirua, win­ning a pop­u­lar choice prize in Pataka’s re­cent Box Art ex­hi­bi­tion.

Rau­mati South artist Deb­bie Poin­ton won a top-notch bot­tle of cham­pagne for her art­work, en­ti­tled The Mer­chant of Mar­vels and Ped­dler of Dreams af­ter her favourite book of the same name.

Her in­tri­cate cab­i­net-like box is filled with recre­ations of the gifts book char­ac­ter Fred­er­ick Knick-Knack gives to his beloved Alice – a ticket for 1001 flights on a magic car­pet, a vial of tear liqueur from the king of crocodiles, and a golden key which opens up a se­cret world of dreams, among many oth­ers.

‘‘What­ever gift you might want, that’s very spe­cial, he can get it for you,’’ Ms Poin­ton says.

The box had plenty of mov­ing parts to de­light on­look­ers – if you clapped a bird be­gan cheep­ing, and there was a wind-up han­dle that played a tune.

Ms Poin­ton clearly knows how to en­gage the pub­lic – her 2011 Box Art en­try Pan­dora’s Box won the peo­ple’s choice gong too.

‘‘My se­cret is I en­gage my­self. I do what I love. I don’t set out to win any­thing,’’ Ms Poin­ton says. ‘‘I love cre­at­ing and if other peo­ple en­joy it, that’s fan­tas­tic.’’

Her own dear­est wish is to take tea in Paris, she says.

‘‘I’d like to just get on a plane and just go and get tea in Paris, and come back. Just for the hell of it.’’

Box Art or­gan­iser and Friend of Pataka Carolyn Wal­lace says there was al­ways a queue in front of Ms Poin­ton’s box, wait­ing to have a go in­ter­act­ing with the art­work.

This was the last year of the Box Art ex­hi­bi­tion. From 2013 it will be re­placed by an art awards ex­hi­bi­tion open to any art form from paint­ing, Ms Wal­lace says.

Box of dreams: Artist Deb­bie Poin­ton won Pataka’s Box Art peo­ple’s choice award for her cab­i­net of fan­tasies, and re­ceived a top bot­tle of bub­bly for her ef­forts from ex­hi­bi­tion or­gan­iser Carolyn Wal­lace.

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