Artist ex­plores themes of mi­gra­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - OUT & ABOUT - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

In an exhibition named Mi­gra­tion it seems only nat­u­ral the art­work it­self will travel.

Luke Kelly ex­pected the first time his art hung in its planned for­ma­tion would also be the last time, which is just what he wanted.

‘‘A lot of the themes are fam­ily his­tory, cul­tural his­to­ries, mi­gra­tion and how New Zealan­ders came here on boats and planes and waka and fish­ing trawler.

‘‘The pieces all start to­gether but will prob­a­bly be sold in­di­vid­u­ally and go off to dif­fer­ent houses ... they will never be to­gether again, it will be the only time they were in the same place as a fam­ily.’’

But the even­tual sale and split­ting up of his art doesn’t make him sad, he said.

‘‘When you’re work­ing in a stu­dio and work­ing up close you never get to see all the pieces in suc­ces­sion ... I kind of know what it will look like but it will be dif­fer­ent, that’s what I’m ex­cited about.’’

Maori and Poly­ne­sian cul­ture in­spired the exhibition and many of the pieces are made from thinly cut cedar curved and bent into nau­ti­cal shapes.

Kelly said he stum­bled across the wood when his mother had cedar weath­er­boards taken off her Waikanae home.

‘‘I’d been do­ing a lot of work with moulded ply and stretched alu­minium and I started cut­ting up the cedar and re­alised how beau­ti­ful it was. You can get it down to 1-2mm and it bends like balsa wood, it has a lovely grain which has no knots so you can cut it with a craft knife.’’

It was a child­hood spent close to the ocean in a beach set­tle­ment near Gis­bourne that in­flu­enced Kelly’s de­signs.

‘‘We al­ways had surf­boards and boats and were al­ways in the sand, build­ing and mak­ing things.’’

He stud­ied graphic de­sign in Welling­ton where he learnt print mak­ing and de­sign.

He and wife Vida work to­gether as free­lance graphic de­sign­ers, ’’the in­come stream sucks but I do get to be cre­ative’’.

‘‘It would be lovely to do art full time.’’

Con­tem­po­rary Art Cu­ra­tor for Pataka Mark Hutchins-Pond said it was ex­cit­ing to be show­ing Kelly’s work.

‘‘He hasn’t showed at Pataka be­fore and it will be a nice fit for his art.’’

Mi­gra­tion is show­ing at Toi Gallery, Pataka Mu­seum from Septem­ber 30 till Oc­to­ber 29.


Luke Kelly’s exhibition is be­ing shown at Porirua’s Pataka mu­seum.

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