'From Whaingaroa Raglan and Piha to New Works' Exhibition by Libby Vandy-Mines
Opening Event- 19 October 5.30-7pm. All welcome. Don't miss viewing these moody, thought provoking artworks by long term artist Libby Vandy-Mines.
Artist statement :
I have always had an interest in and loved the coastal landforms, the rocks, the sea and the skies of Whaingaroa, Raglan. I have memories of being on Ngarunui (Ocean) Beach with my father and seeing the muted colours of the dawn and later in the midday light, the intensity of the black volcanic rocks of Manu Bay. Years later staying and visiting Piha and seeing the similar features of Whaingaroa and Piha. I have painted in a more representational style but I have pushed towards a more conceptual realisation style of the ocean and waves in some paintings.
My work from early years has been informed by McCahon, Fomison and Hotere. I have always had a deep appreciation and empathy for the essentialism of their landforms and figures. However I have struggled to reduce detail in my own work at times. I have also had decades of viewing and thinking about the plight of refugees. My first painting of refugees was as a teenager preparing for my Fine Arts prelim assessment. Recently, I have been seeing the global plight of refugees in the media and watching Chrystal Pile’s ballet, “ Flight Pattern” on refugees. Those experiences lead into my more recent image of a refugee child in my painting, “She Looked Back”.
My recent paintings include landscapes of the Waikato informed by history studies at Waikato University and focusing on Colonial landscapes and themes of loss and grief and dislocation. In this, there are parallels with the plight of refugees. Some paintings fall outside the major interests or themes of my previous works. I have touched on some subjects for portraits or still life studies which have served to invigorate or refocus my practice.