Painter stay­ing true to her ru­ral up­bring­ing

The Press - Zest - - Culverden Christmas Country Fete -

She lives in the su­per city that is Auck­land but, in her fields of creative en­deav­our, Amelia Guild is never far from the ru­ral roots of Can­ter­bury that shaped her. Guild will be re­turn­ing to those roots when she ap­pears at the Cul­ver­den Christ­mas Coun­try Fete on Oc­to­ber 27 as an artist in res­i­dence, ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic as she sits at her easel pro­duc­ing one of her dis­tinc­tive oil paint­ings.

She grew up on High Peak Sta­tion, a 4000-hectare prop­erty in the Rakaia Gorge that runs sheep, beef and deer.

Many of her works have taken as their sub­ject the stock with which she is so fa­mil­iar.

‘‘You can’t re­ally shake it once you have it in your blood,’’ Guild says.

As well as en­joy­ing a flour­ish­ing ca­reer as an artist, she also turns her hand to act­ing and re­cently had a role in a mock­u­men­tary to be screened on TV One.

Not sur­pris­ingly, her lat­est stage ven­ture also has a dis­tinctly ru­ral flavour. She and an­other ac­tor, Emma New­born, are un­der­tak­ing a five­week tour of South Is­land wool­sheds where they will per­form an hour-long com­edy based around two dogs on heat. Also ap­pear­ing with them will be singer Mel Par­sons.

‘‘It’s rather sat­is­fy­ing to take the skills I honed in the city back to the coun­try,’’ she says.

‘‘I feel very for­tu­nate to have grown up where I did be­fore mov­ing on to the city.’’

Her early art in­flu­ences came from her mother, Anna Guild, who works in water colours.

‘‘I ex­hib­ited with her when I was 16 or 17 in an ex­hi­bi­tion called Anna Guild and Friends,’’ she says.

‘‘I was lucky to have very good tu­ition at Rangi Ruru. We had res­i­dent artists at school and one of them, Joanna Braith­waite, made a big im­pact on me when I was just get­ting into paint­ing. I liked her use of oil paint and the con­tent of her work. It was ac­ces­si­ble, not too ab­stract and it was fun and quirky.’’

Though stim­u­lated by the Braith­waite style, Guild has had no fur­ther con­tact with her men­tor.

‘‘She wouldn’t have a clue who I was,’’ she says.

Guild says she is look­ing for­ward to ap­pear­ing at the fete.

‘‘It’s a huge hon­our to be asked along as guest artist in the fete’s 20th year,’’ she says.

‘‘Mum had a stall at the in­au­gu­ral fete at Les­lie Hills and also ex­hib­ited at sev­eral oth­ers over the years.’’

Some of the artist’s works, in­clud­ing a pop­u­lar se­lec­tion that has cat­tle as their sub­ject, will be ex­hib­ited and avail­able for sale at the fete.

‘‘I adore an­i­mals and I get a lot of en­joy­ment out of paint­ing them. I find it chal­leng­ing to cap­ture their ex­pres­sions and their move­ment. I have been break­ing out into other an­i­mals lately but try­ing to push the painterly ef­fects of tex­ture and colour. The lat­est works have been bright and fun.’’

Amelia Guild’s work may be seen on her web­site ameliaguild.com.

Photo: THOMASDUNBAR

Stock sub­ject: Amelia Guild’s ru­ral up­bring­ing has a strong in­flu­ence on the oil paint­ings she pro­duces.

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