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