A trans-Tas­man frame of mind


Pic­ture fram­ing is not the sort of trans-Tas­man com­pe­ti­tion that im­me­di­ately says ‘‘watch me’’ - un­less, of course, you’re a pic­ture framer.

A ’watch me’ it may not be, but a fram­ing con­test cer­tainly qual­i­fies as a ‘look at me’.

Lars Van Uf­fe­len, of Palmer­ston North’s Van Uf­fe­len Pic­ture Fram­ing Gallery, is used to hav­ing his work looked at and ap­praised, and he will be in Syd­ney next week when his win­ning en­try in the fifth New Zealand fram­ing com­pe­ti­tion will take on Aus­tralia’s best.

Van Uf­fe­len was se­lected, along with two other Kiwi framers, to com­pete across the ditch af­ter win­ning the bi­en­nial Lar­son-Juhl New Zealand Art and Frame Pic­ture Fram­ing show. The first prize was free en­try, in­clud­ing ship­ping, to the Aus­tralian Art and Frame Pic­ture Fram­ing Show in Syd­ney on Au­gust 11-13, along with ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Both com­pe­ti­tions had been run in con­junc­tion with one other and made use of the same im­age, a pair of snowy owls, but the im­por­tant bit is the sur­round. In a room full of iden­ti­cal owl pic­tures, it is the fram­ing that must stand out - but not too much. ‘‘You get to show your cre­ative flair. It’s about work­man­ship, de­sign, pro­por­tion and bal­ance, and ap­pro­pri­ate ways of en­hanc- ing the im­age.’’

He has no fears of any Aus­tralian bias, as all the works are hung anony­mously, with framers, artists and in­te­rior de­sign­ers mem­bers of the judg­ing panel.

Van Uf­fe­len had won the Kiwi fram­ing champs once be­fore in 2011, only it was Lars’ wife Shan­non who framed the win­ning print, with her hus­band in sec­ond place. ’’I’m highly com­pet­i­tive - but in to­day’s re­tail cli­mate you can’t af­ford not to be. You are al­ways striv­ing to get the best re­sult for the cus­tomer,’’ Lars said.

The two frames with their iden­ti­cal prints from 2011 are dis­played in the cou­ple’s Princess St show­room. ‘‘The com­pe­ti­tion is the chance to put to­gether a lot of dif­fer­ent el­e­ments that you don’t al­ways get the chance to do when you are work­ing for a cus­tomer. It’s about push­ing those fram­ing el­e­ments just that lit­tle bit fur­ther,’’ Van Uf­fe­len said.


Lars Van Uf­fe­len will rep­re­sent NZ at a pic­ture fram­ing com­pe­ti­tion in Aus­tralia.

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