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.