Art Society’s Christmas exhibition ‘not your normal art show’

supplied/Nelson Mail

Huia No 1 by Gill Saunders.

Review: It’s not your normal art show.

The Nelson Suter Art Society Summer/Christmas Exhibition is selected from the best work of members, but the works are restricted to a maximum dimension of 500mm and only half the offerings are on show.

Early viewers will get the best choice and if they buy something they can take it home – the resulting gap on the gallery wall is then filled with a different work.

It’s a great opportunity for Christmas shopping.

* Plenty of gems at Suter society’s spring exhibition
* Land, sea and sky under one roof at Suter
* Mapua artist raises awareness on ‘dwindling sea life’

With a room crammed full of small works, the overall impression is of an old-fashioned gallery display with ranks of paintings clamouring for attention.

It takes a few circuits of the society’s McKee Gallery for individual works to stand out.


Ross Whitlock’s Branford Park Autumn.

In the meantime, the three-dimensional pieces on central plinths have the best chance to shine, with Lauren Kitts’ Four Corners of Change dominating one end of the room and Abstract Man by Vicki Charles the other.

Kitts’ Sunset Journey is another impressive work in stone, but could do with a little more space to set its sails.

In front of the room’s large window, Woolen Assembly by Erhard Wingels is impressive and intriguing. Despite its name suggesting something in fibre, it’s a work of nine photo-printed rectangles of acrylic making a labyrinth of soft colours.

On the walls, small gems start to reveal themselves. Ai Means Love is a precise piece of calligraphy by Debra Cole.


Four Corners of Change by Lauren Kitts.

Among my instant favourites were Best Friends by Paul Nankivell, Kaleidoscope by Siena Ammon, Target by Barbara Franklet and Mapua Channel by Peter Copp.

I instantly loved Huia No 1 by Gill Saunders and wondered at the persistence of Maggy Johnston in crocheting copper wire in her three works.

While opening speeches were underway I found myself admiring the detail in the outdoor scenes in oils by Ross Whitlock, particularly Branford Park Autumn.

I almost missed Jane Sussmilch’s lovely acrylic paintings and a couple of nice Fifeshire Rock scenes in watercolour by Cathy Jones and Michael Doyle.

I felt as if there was much more to admire given time and recommend a long slow wander around this exhibition – the sooner the better.

The exhibition is open now at the Suter Gallery and continues until February 7.

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