Ngaru­awahia man’s un­con­ven­tional art


‘‘It re­ally makes me feel good... this stuff is so ex­cit­ing’’

There’s no telling what piece of art Edd Cal­laghan will cre­ate, it only comes to life when he opens his eyes.

When cre­at­ing his mas­ter­pieces, the Ngaru­awahia self-taught artist sits down and goes into a ‘‘trance’’. Within min­utes, his sub­ject is cre­ated. ‘‘I shut my eyes and 90 per cent of the time I have no idea what I’m draw­ing.’’

Once he sees the man­i­cally drawn lines, he uses his ‘sub-con­cious’ to fig­ure out what it is.

Then it some­times takes weeks to complete each piece us­ing var­i­ous colours to tell the story.

Over the last two weeks, his col­lec­tion was fea­tured at Next Level Gallery in Hamilton.

It con­sisted of a two-faced Don­ald Trump, kids fly­ing kites, and a baby be­ing born amongst many oth­ers.

Cal­laghan started the mod­ern art style about nine years ago.

‘‘I had my [late] wife at home with se­ri­ous Alzheimer’s and I had to keep sane.’’

His col­lec­tion also fea­tured sketches of his wife while in a rest home.

One of her calm and serene and another silently scream­ing.

Art was a means of es­cape and had given him joy over the past three decades, he said.

And while his work­ing ca­reer con­sisted of any­thing but art, he’s now found a vo­ca­tion that’s made him tru­ely happy.

‘‘It re­ally makes me feel good... this stuff is so ex­cit­ing.’’

It’s not ev­ery­one’s cup of tea with most find­ing it con­fus­ing at first.

‘‘If you know how it comes about, it makes it more in­ter­est­ing.’’

He usu­ally dic­tates the story but he said it’s up to the in­di­vid­ual to in­ter­pret his cre­ations.

Now re­tired, he spends a good chunk of his days cre­at­ing pieces which fill ev­ery wall of his home ex­cept the toi­let.

Some of which have been in­spired by lo­cals at the Ngaru­awahia RSA.

Cal­laghan cre­ates com­mis­sion pieces also and said one time he used that par­tic­u­lar style to re-cre­ate some­one’s night­mare.

The dream was about be­ing chased by an oc­tu­pus.

‘‘He came to the house and picked it up and he said ‘I don’t have the dream any­more, it’s in the paint­ing’.’’

While he finds the style thrilling, he said it might be time to switch it up soon.

‘‘Like most artists, you keep chang­ing... so I might do some­thing else.’’

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