Art Centre Helensville

Up-cycling because there is no such thing as ‘away’ when we throw things away.
By Pippa Jinks
I have been studying art with Claire Delaney in Riverhead for a couple of years, mostly interested in oils and whimsical portraits. I spend far too much time oogling over clever artists on instagram and came across the work of Alexandra Dillan, who paints beautiful surreal portraits on everyday objects, which inspired these works.
Since I become a mum I have become more aware of environmental concerns, beginning with the cloth nappy company I founded when my children were small. It’s important that we all start seeing rubbish in a different way - there really is no ‘away’ when we throw things away. To be able to make something beautiful out of something that had no value seems a worthwhile aim. I also love the irony of the paint tool becoming the work of art itself, which is why I started to use old paintbrushes, and give them little personalities. What was once a bent bristle becomes a crazy hairdo with a life of its own!
I have just started making small groups of these paintbrush people, and after a plea to my local community had wonderful people scurrying to their toolsheds to find old brushes for me. I couldn’t believe the response and how keen people were to make something good of something worthless, so now I have quite a bunch of sad looking brushes to turn into more people. I wonder who they will become?


We will be running an Up-cycle Exhibition highlighting the creativity of people who have the imagination to turn unloved items into something beautiful. May 5th-26th with the opening at 5pm on May 4th.
Saturday 12th Vjekoslav Nemesh free flow oil painting workshop 10-4 $155. Create at least 2 canvases with Nemesh guiding us through the creation of the first. Nemesh recently did a fascinating demonstration which was well attended and very inspiring.
Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th May acrylic painting in an watercolour technique on paper. 9.30-4.30 both days. Over the two days Jan will guide you through the creation of several works. All notes and materials provided. Jan has spent years honing her techniques and developing her workshop programme. There will be a follow on workshop for those who have attended this first workshop on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th July.
June sees an open exhibition of Photography as part of the Auckland-wide Festival of Photography. Anyone can put work in in any photographic medium. Around 3,000 photographs will put on show in the media room along with a slideshow of drawings of afro-american life model Fred Mans. Fred has been posing for life drawing classes for around 20 years and had been taking photos of the images he has inspired.
Silver Art Clay workshop on June 23rd from 10am-4pm. Create a pendant by painting thin layers of silver art clay onto a leaf. The leaf will burn away during the firing but a detailed imprint of every vein will be left on your pendant. You will also get to create a second pendant from a selection of moulds.

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