Cre­at­ing some­thing more mean­ing­ful

Whanganui Midweek - - News - By PAUL BROOKS Time to Talk

Ev­ery two months pho­to­graphic artist Pauline Neil­son in­stalls a new ex­hi­bi­tion on the walls of Yel­low House cof­fee bar in Dublin St.

Pauline’s work has been ex­hib­ited in such places as New York and Syd­ney and she has had of­fers to ex­hibit her work in Lon­don, Paris and Toronto — but that’s not what she re­ally wants.

“It’s about cre­at­ing some­thing that’s mean­ing­ful to me, shar­ing it and con­nect­ing with peo­ple.”

It was af­ter that re­al­i­sa­tion that she ap­proached Yel­low House, made the ar­range­ment and started putting her work and that of other artists in the cafe.

The ex­hi­bi­tion styles have evolved, and she has in­tro­duced guest artists and tried new ways to present art in the so­cial set­ting.

“I had a poet friend and she writes beau­ti­ful po­etry. So I con­tacted nine pho­tog­ra­phers and flicked them one of her po­ems ask­ing them to send back the im­age that comes out of it for them. So we did about three of those.

“I love the lay­ers of mean­ing

. . . then you, as the viewer, are yet an­other layer, be­cause you look at those other in­ter­pre­ta­tions then you make your story.”

Such ex­hi­bi­tions she puts on Youtube and send them out into the world.

Her lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion is very dif­fer­ent, be­ing a col­lab­o­ra­tive ex­hi­bi­tion based on the sto­ries told over a cup of tea — con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple im­por­tant to the writer/artist. The sto­ries have come from peo­ple far away and close to home.

“The re­sponse from peo­ple all around the world, some of whom I didn’t even know . . . just ran­dom con­tact, and some were friends of friends.” Some were very near to her.

Pauline was im­pressed with the en­thu­si­asm of the con­trib­u­tors and the cal­i­bre of the sto­ries.

Each writer was also asked to send a pic­ture that some­how rep­re­sented the story or con­ver­sa­tion, whether it be the teapot and cups or some­thing less ob­vi­ous.

“It’s hon­our­ing the words, how they’ve been writ­ten and the in­tent with which they’ve been writ­ten, and then they’ve trav­elled all the way here . . . peo­ple need to see them and en­joy them.”

A state­ment ac­com­pa­nies the ex­hi­bi­tion and in­cludes this ex­pla­na­tion: “This ex­hi­bi­tion shares the threads be­tween peo­ple that show how we need to talk with other peo­ple and trea­sure their words. Tak­ing the time to read and con­sider the lay­ers of mean­ing in each story gives the viewer a chance to feel in their own heart sim­i­lar con­ver­sa­tions they have had or more im­por­tantly the con­ver­sa­tions that they need to have.”

The project has been six or seven months from con­cep­tion to ex­hi­bi­tion and Pauline has cre­ated a book on it.

■ opens in Yel­low House from Novem­ber 1.

PAULINE Neil­son presents

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