by Helen Martin
In November, around 40 people took advantage of hearing an Artist Talk given by sculptor Jeff Thomson in his Awaroa Rd studio, the first in a series initiated by Helensville Art Centre and funded by Creative Communities.
Surrounded by many of the wonderful art works Jeff has created over the years, listeners were taken through a fascinating whistle-stop account of his career as an artist, from walking hundreds of kilometres in search of inspiration in the early days to becoming noticed locally, to being asked to exhibit in prestigious galleries and commissioned by art collectors around the world.
With his down to earth way of speaking, laconic humour and openness, one of the pleasures of hearing Jeff talk about his work is that he has never let his success go to his head. Having heard about his inspiration, his use of materials, his subjects and the bizarre fate of some of his pieces, people took the opportunity to wander around the studio afterwards and look at the work with new eyes.
Artists taking part in the series in 2016 include Ann Crane (ceramics), Jayne Thomas (painting) and Art Centre Manager Sally Lush (mixed media).