City’s restoration expressed in abstracts
The impact of the post-war landscape of Vukovar, Croatia, made its way into Matamata artist Pamela Tapp’s brushstrokes on a visit there.
The eastern city was heavily damaged during the Croatian War of Independence and is still rebuilding 17 years later.
Tapp wanted to acknowledge the ‘‘amazing’’ restoration work and resilience of the city through her work.
‘‘Knowing the devastation the city had been through, I wanted to paint in my signature abstract, colourful style,’’ Tapp said.
‘‘I usually have some darkness in my paintings but I wanted to keep these ones bright and raw to reflect the positive, bright future the city is working towards.’’
Tapp was selected by World Art Games New Zealand to attend a week- long Artists’ Colony in Vukovar in May.
The colony was attended by 20 international artists and was one of several events to take place in a lead-up to the inaugural World Art Games to be held next year.
Tapp had to create three paintings over the week and said the Adica Eco Centre where they were staying was the ideal place to be based.
‘‘ I enjoyed working outside, listening to the cuckoos calling. The environment was perfect, the weather was perfect and the company was perfect,’’ she said.
‘‘I felt that it truly represented the World Art Games philosophy of working together through peace and tolerance regardless of language, race or religion.’’
Two of her pieces were donated to the Vukovar City Gallery and the World Art Games Museum, and she decided to gift the third piece to an animal shelter.
‘‘I noticed some of the dogs were still displaced as a result of the war and I wanted to do something to help them,’’ she said.
Having two dogs of her own, Tapp hopes to return to Croatia next year and hold an exhibition where 25 per cent of the profit would go towards the shelter.
A further 25 per cent would go towards helping the World Art Games build an art complex where artists from around the world could come to collaborate, learn and create, Tapp said.
The mayor of Vukovar was very supportive of art and people are working towards building an art city, she said.
Tapp’s work will eventually be on permanent exhibition in Eltz Castle, flattened during the war and now being restored.
Looking forward: Artist Pamela Tapp with her two paintings inspired by post-war Croatia, titled Towards a Brighter Future and Rising From the Ashes.