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SOUTHERN LAKES ART TRENDS

SOUTHERN LAKES ART TRENDS

When they coined the term “picturesque” they must have had Wanaka in mind. Being the co-owner of an art gallery in Wanaka has been the experience of a lifetime. Furthermore, seeing the evolution of art here over the past few decades has been breath-taking.  

Canyons End by Jane Kellahan
Canyon’s End by Jane Kellahan

 

I remember visiting Wanaka at a time past, when the pace of life was slower and people would stop on the road to chat - to the busy present, where it has become a vibrant modern populus.  

From seeing a landscape painting in the gallery 15 years ago by Graham Brinsley, with its textured forms and striking Otago colours (which incidentally, inspired a series of paintings of my own) - to experiencing our current exhibition artist Jane Kellahan’s expressionist and abstract masterpieces of aerial views and atmospheric moods - both referencing this heavenly alpine wonderland - have helped to keep my fascination alive all these years.  

 

Dandelion Cadence by Raquel Clarke
Dandelion Cadence by Raquel Clarke

The Clarke family of Queenstown have been a significant influence on the gallery particularly in the earlier part of this decade. The gallery was transformed both in décor and profile from a simple room with a grand view to a smart sophisticated gallery space, with large landscape masterpieces and vivid floral canvases. 

Since acquiring the gallery in 2013 my wife Lyz and I have continued in this vein and seen the rise of Raquel Clarke as a major international artist, exporting her natural, elemental and abstract artworks to Australia, USA, Southeast Asia and Europe. 

Recently the gallery has gone through significant changes, and developed new methods and forums of promoting South Island art to New Zealand and the world. The impact of social media on the process of art dealing has been significant. Websites, Facebook and Instagram all require new skills and imagination. Many customers prefer to use these portals to make their choices of artwork, but these will never replace seeing the art in person.  So our central Wanaka location and online presence are vital in this digital age. 

Architecture trends seem to be having the greatest impact on genre choice by the art buyer. Art must reside in a space. Contemporary houses are enhanced by modern art such as abstract and expressionist, paintings and sculpture. Building in Wanaka and the Southern Lakes has been phenomenal and cutting edge,

Susarration Series by Nigel Wilson
Susarration Series by Nigel Wilson

thus art must reflect both internal environment and geographical location to resonate. The environment within has also developed with more people seeking to express the internal world of the mind and heart in their art collection. The days of having a pretty picture on the wall have been replaced by a genuine effort to present personal and meaningful reflections of one’s life and experiences. 

Whilst impressionist landscape has been the fare for many years at our Wanaka Gallery, the influences of expressionist and abstract art, and of architecture, have transformed the artistic landscape of this pristine New Zealand adventure tourist nexus.

By Peter Dozzi
15 July 2017

Featured Artists

Raquel Clarke

Raquel Clarke

Esther Dexter

Esther Dexter

Kelvin McMillan

Kelvin McMillan

Jane Kellahan

Jane Kellahan