City’s restora­tion ex­pressed in ab­stracts

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART

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.

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