Artist holds first solo ex­hi­bi­tion

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - KRIS BOULT

A chef turned artist is en­joy­ing the taste of suc­cess with her first solo ex­hi­bi­tion.

Donna O’Donoghue, who grew up in Strat­ford, was used to work­ing un­der pres­sure in the kitchens of Sky City in Auck­land be­fore mov­ing back to Taranaki 10 years ago for a change of di­rec­tion.

‘‘I was sick of work­ing with older, dis­grun­tled chefs,’’ she joked.

Although she still works part time as a chef in var­i­ous places in New Ply­mouth she has spent her free time on her art­work which is now on show at the JD Reid gallery on Devon St West.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is a mix­ture of pho­to­graphs and dis­plays that al­lows her to show off her cre­ativ­ity and her sense of hu­mour.

‘‘I like get­ting a pic­ture out of my head and you don’t usu­ally see ze­bras in a bath.’’ she said point­ing to one of her pic­tures on the gallery wall.

‘‘I mainly work with resin and dig­i­tal as they are both dif­fer­ent, but I need both as a creative out­let and to bal­ance me out.’’

O’Donoghue said her in­spi­ra­tion came mainly from Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher Jerry Uels­mann, who is fa­mous for his sur­real black and white com­po­si­tions.

‘‘He’s in­cred­i­ble, I just saw his work and just loved it.’’ she said.

She has also been in­spired by the land­scape closer to home

‘‘I love West coast beaches. Karekare beach is my favourite beach but I also love Back Beach in New Ply­mouth. It’s been an in­spi­ra­tion to me over the years.’’

O’Donoghue said she had been plan­ning the ex­hi­bi­tion for about six months and had been so busy get­ting or­gan­ised she hadn’t had time to get ner­vous.

It took her and gallery owner Ja­son Reid about six hours to hang ev­ery­thing for the show­case, which she has called Dreami­sphere.

Stu­dio owner Reid said he first met O’Donoghue at a gallery in Welling­ton four years ago.

‘‘Donna worked up here quite a bit over the years and it was a log­i­cal step to have her do her own ex­hi­bi­tion. Her work is al­ways pop­u­lar.’’

O’Donoghue said she was de­lighted to see her work on show in the ex­hi­bi­tion, which runs un­til Oc­to­ber 21.

‘‘It’s a huge sense of achieve­ment once it was all up and on dis­play. I’m quite taken aback to see all the work I cre­ated in one space,’’

KRIS BOULT

Artist Donna O’Donoghue is hold­ing her first solo ex­hi­bi­tion at the JD Reid gallery on Devon St West.

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