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Art show extravaganza: Windsor Gallery


It is a stellar representation from the art world’s finest taking part in the Open Weekend and Art Show on November 7 and 8 at Windsor Gallery, 386 St Asaph Street.

 

With over 130 pieces in the show and over 30 artists represented, from Aotearoa to Dubai, this promises to be one of the most exciting events for lovers of art.

Photographer Andris Apse; sculptors Anneke Bester and Matt Williams; and artists Joel Hart, Bruce Stilwell, Belinda Nadwie, David Woodings, Svetlana Orinko, Philip Beadle and Ivan Button (paying homage to Jackson Pollack), gives an indication of the high calibre of artists being showcased.

Whatever your taste – urban or abstract, photographic or sculptural – this art show speaks to all ages and all periods of life.

For those captivated by an exhibit, be assured every artwork is for sale.

Open 10am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday November 7 and 8. See online and Facebook below, or
@windsorgallerynz on Instagram.


 

An acoustic ambition


At just 19, local singer-songwriter Amber Carly Williams is set to perform at the Bay Dreams music festival in Nelson this summer. Metropol catches up with the first-year Ara Music Arts contemporary vocals student about her musical journey.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR GENRE AND MUSICAL BACKGROUND?
I enjoy writing and recording my own music – it can often start off a certain feel and end up something completely different, but I tend to go for pop /indie. I like playing solo and using my loop pedal…but I’m also in the midst of forming a band for certain performances coming up.

WHAT DRIVES YOUR MUSICAL PASSION AND HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE CRAFT?
I first started playing guitar when I was 8-years-old, as I was always surrounded with music in the family. My mum passed away when I was young so seeing her do music was quite inspiring for me and I wanted to relate to that part of her. A few years down the track I started singing, just along with the guitar, but then my voice kind of took over and I realised I really had a passion for singing and that’s when song writing came in too. Being able to write my own music and express my thoughts and opinions has become something that has helped me through some challenging times.

WHAT PROJECTS HAVE YOU WORKED ON SO FAR, AND WHAT DO YOU HAVE COMING UP?
I’m in the process of writing new music at the moment and recording it myself in my wee bedroom studio setup which is looking to result in an EP or maybe even a potential album. Over summer I’m looking into gigging more around the South Island in conjunction with my set at Bay Dreams Nelson in January. This will be the biggest performance I’ve ever done by a long shot so this is very exciting!

WHO / WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN YOUR WORK?
My dad [Peter Williams of Acoustic Architecture] is my biggest supporter and without him I would’ve had no one to take me to my music lessons and take me to all my gigs when I didn’t have a car and accompany me when I was underage. I take influence from solo performing musicians like Tash Sultana, and some of my favourite artists include Phoebe Bridgers, Jeremy Zucker and Lennon Stella.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE TAKE AWAY FROM LISTENING TO YOUR MUSIC?
Something I really try to aim for is making sure that my music isn’t just a catchy hook. I love being able to put my experiences and thoughts into my music, and it’s important to me that when people listen to it, they can relate to the lyrics in some sort of way or something stands out and makes them think of a time something like that happened to them.


 

She had a dream


Sometimes all it takes is perfect timing to bring your best achievement into the limelight.

 

 

When she was 20, local Christchurch musician Steffany Beck won a grant with the foundation Rise NZ, to record her song I Have a Dream. Now at 30 she has just commercially released her favourite original to the world.

“The lyrics are about what the world would look and feel like if everyone accepted each other for who they are, allowing people to just follow and live their dreams,” she says.

At the time, the inspiring indie pop-rock song was recorded professionally with a full band, released on the Rise website and showcased on the Erin Simpson Show, but that was the limits to the song’s publicity.

“Only my friends and family really knew it existed back then – there was no opportunity for it to go anywhere,” Steffany explains.

“However, a teenager did recognise me in the mall and said it completely inspired her. That really meant a lot; creating your community and connecting with them is what inspires me the most. It’s who you do it for.”

The song title was inspired by Martin Luther King’s famous 1963 quote when he called to end racism in the United States.

It was watching videos of his speeches that the American-born songstress got inspiration to write and headline the song.

“Coincidentally this even has relevance with what’s been going on recently,” she says of the lyrics which she hopes will inspire others to be more accepting.

“Helping people is all I have ever wanted to do.”

When it comes to inspiration, it was in fact her own song that inspired Steffany to write and record her EP Blue Eyed Girl last year.

“This February I realised this song (I Have a Dream) was actually the prologue to my EP – the reason. My gut instinct told me I had to now share it with the world.”

When the original was released, Steffany was a budding artist but decided to learn the marketing side of things and be her own manager to get her music out there.

“That’s what many musicians are doing now,” she says. “There are so many platforms you can put your music on that weren’t there 10 years ago.”

Instead, Steffany arranged interviews on radio stations, TV segments, even for a music magazine in India! “The whole world is my platform,” she says.

Over the last decade the songstress has been reinventing herself and counts being chosen for a song-writing workshop weekend with Kiwi icon Bic Runga as one of her professional highlights.

The brunette Stephanie from the original YouTube video of I Have a Dream has now become a more talented and very blonde, Steffany.

“I changed my name spelling as there were so many other Stephanie Becks. You need to be easy to find,” she says.

Steffany’s working week is busy as a full-time Health and Safety Manager at Contract Construction, a career she adores.

Lockdown gave her the chance to let herself relax a little and get the re-release of her original I Have a Dream organised.

“I really want to inspire people. Especially now with everything in crazy chaos, you still owe it to yourself to live your own dream.”

Her original song is now up on Spotify, iTunes, apple music, Sound Cloud and Facebook and the latest video went live on YouTube on 15 July.

 

Song Spotify/ iTunes/ Apple Music

smarturl.it/SteffanyBeck

Music video

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq_x6Xi4buA

Social media

www.facebook.com/steffanybeckmusic/


 

Gray Matter


We’re all pretty familiar with the line that there’s often several years of hard work behind an overnight success; plenty of stars of their fields have filled us in on this very fact.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY: DERRICK SANTINI

 

But there’s an even more magical twist to the success of UK singer-songwriter David Gray.

Although there had undoubtedly been the stock-standard six years of solid hard work behind his success, it’s the fact that his first three albums, recorded under the professional guidance of a record label, were instantly superseded both in popularity and in sales by White Ladder, made on a budget in Gray’s bedroom, that is perhaps the most powerful plot twist here.

The tidal wave of success that has seen seven million copies sold and spawned a string of classic hit singles like Babylon, Please Forgive Me, Sail Away, This Year’s Love and My Oh My first started in Ireland.

After another 18 months on the road, Gray broke into the UK with what would become one of the biggest albums of the 21st century and it has remained in the top 30 best-selling British albums of all time.

Here in New Zealand, it would go three times platinum and 20 years on, we can still sing along!

“It was a moment of reckoning, a moment that was me flipping all the negative energy into a positive,” Gray says of White Ladder’s success.

“After three records I could have blamed the world, blamed the critics, everyone but myself, but I decided I needed to make a better record, needed to give it more, not just time and effort and concentration, but more courageousness, more open-heartedness.

“We went in and did this thing. We didn’t do it in a self-conscious way; it’s a genuine thing, it has heart. People related to the stories, the melodies, the emotional centre. People connected to the album as a whole.”

Although part of 2020 has a “giant question mark hanging over its head”, Gray will hit the New Zealand leg of his tour late this year.

Bringing together the album’s original band members and original equipment to “recreate the record in its entirety” on stage, it’s set to hit Auckland’s Spark Arena on 28 November, Wellington’s TSB Arena on 29 November and our very own Horncastle Arena on 1 December.

“It’s like listening to the record but live,” Gray says.

Despite some big songs on there, Gray says White Ladder as a mellow, low-key album when it was first recorded and it has been “beefed up” in recent times for modern audiences.

The tour however, gave the band members the opportunity to honour the original sound.

“It was home recorded so we didn’t have the budget or means to make it sound big. It’s a mellow listen, but we’ve recreated the music for this tour. It’s really sweet to hear the songs the way they were then; it’s lovely to return them to their original.”

It’s the story of DIY success. “It was extraordinary how it happened,” Gray says.

“We weren’t blessed by big music companies, it was a word of mouth kind of success that came from nowhere. The music has stood up really well because we made it to be not like anything else and that still holds up today.

“It’s an incredible thing that happened and it’s a special record. Touch wood we’ll be with you at the end of the year, with big smiles on our faces!”


 

Art-tastic!


Christine Green tells us why she’s been such a fan of Art Metro for nearly a decade.

 


What prompted you to enrol at Art Metro, Christine?
As Art Metro wasn’t far from my home, I thought I’d give painting a go. I could hardly draw, let alone paint, but once I started, I was surprised at what I could achieve with help from my tutor and peers.


What’s your preferred medium?
Oils – much easier to fix or blend when I make a mistake!


What about genre?
I’ve done a few animal portraits from photos. I recently painted a landscape, which I really enjoyed.


What keeps you returning to Art Metro?
We’ve a lot of banter. Everyone’s friendly, encouraging and incredibly honest about each other’s works. I enjoy the different age groups. A friend joined a few years ago, so it’s a chance for a catch up.


Who is your tutor?
I started with Livia and I now have Sarah. I couldn’t achieve what I do without them! They can suggest what to try and paint, but over time I have discovered what I do and don’t like to paint and now have definite ideas of what I enjoy doing.


What does painting mean to you personally, Christine?
I paint for my own enjoyment and to gift to friends and family.


Find Art Metro at 465 Papanui Road, phone 03 354 4438 or email learn@artmetro.co.nz.


 

Living Art


Formerly at Pareora Street, Riccarton, Bryce Gallery has now relocated out to the idyllic serenity of the countryside and on Saturday 1 February, artists Min Kim and Jamie Stewart welcomed around 200 friends and associates to the reopening of Bryce Gallery at 84 Vincenza Drive, Ohoka.

 

Their vision for the gallery is to develop the four acres of land into a sculpture garden and the 422 square metre home into an artistic paradise for art lovers.

Already Min and Jamie have turned the concept of what we think of as a working gallery on its head, for there is no one standalone room in which to view the Bryce collection; instead, artworks grace each and every room, as well as the garden and surrounding parklands.

It is an astounding concept, but also a glorious one. “I’ve always felt that in connecting with nature, we are safe,” Min says.

“Listening to the wind in the trees here – it’s so magical.”

Min’s love of meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends has prompted the opening of an Air B&B in March; it’s a heavenly way for guests to experience that magic for themselves and revel in the beauty that’s truly all around them.

“Bryce Gallery’s relocation is very much about my giving back to the artistic society, because my clients have fed my soul,” Min says.

“I want to know who has bought my art and why – what it means to them.”

Find Bryce Gallery at 84 Vincenza Drive, Ohoka.


 

Eyelash Excellence


Keren Clayton is now New Zealand’s only Eyelash Excellence educator, after completing a course in the UK with mentor and internationally recognised Master Lash Artist, Frankie Widdows.

 

The Rangiora eyelash extension technician runs Lash Kandy at 135 High Street and, after completing the study required to join Widdows’ Global Training Team, Keren is more passionate than ever to introduce her new range of skills to her Canterbury clients and to pass the knowledge on to new and experienced lash artists looking to upskill.

It all started earlier in the year when Frankie posted on her website that she was looking for individual applicants to take part in the training. The response she received was huge and, to take part, Keren was required to submit a small teaching video and information on the operation of her business.

When she was selected, Keren travelled to the UK to spend four days with Frankie and five other lash artists from America, Australia, South Africa and Canada.

“It was great,” Keren says. “Frankie loves passing on information and skills, so people learn how to apply the lashes in the correct way. In order to earn the qualification, you must demonstrate you can apply lashes safely; it is a specialist career.”

Now Keren’s back in North Canterbury and she hopes to soon start travelling the country, teaching the new techniques and knowledge she’s learnt to fellow lash artists in New Zealand.

For more information, you’ll find Lash Kandy situated at 135 High Street, Rangiora, phone 021 655 308 or email lashkandy@gmail.com


 

Rangiora mural

An artistic acomplishment: new mural graces the wall of the Kip McGrath Education Centre in Rangiora

It’s been said that you’re only ever limited by your imagination. And, although the very premise of this saying is formed on a fictional narrative rather than the ability to supersede physical limitations, it is none the less a sweet concept.

Rangiora mural

And yet James (Jim) Dykes has made good on this notion, not letting his age of 91 years get in the way of the production of an impressive 16.5m mural in Rangiora.
When the removal of a shed left the large grey concrete wall exposed at the Kip McGrath Education Centre in Ivory Street, James’ son, Director Dr Grant Dykes asked his dad for some ideas and he ended up putting his paintbrush wielding hand up for the task.
“I wanted to depict something of the emptiness which is so much of New Zealand,” James says.
“So I thought what better way than to represent the flood plain; the tussock covered riverbed with the sun still to come up.”
The fact that is has taken a year to complete, working just an hour at a time around the harsh sun and reliance on his wife Jean and daughter in law Delia for assistance, just further adds to this impressive feat of determination.
Outgoing Mayor David Ayers was on hand to unveil the masterpiece last month, pointing to the historical significance of Canterbury’s braided rivers and current significance of the region’s arts in his speech.

Windsor Gallery

An artistic icon: Windsor Gallery has been of service to art for over a century

A perfectly formed art space with a multi award-winning framing service, Windsor Gallery is a century-long Christchurch icon, echoing its creative vibrancy.

Windsor Gallery

Formerly on High Street, the gallery and framing workshop now resides at 386 St Asaph Street, east of Fitzgerald Ave, with easy off-street parking.
Owners since 2009, Philip and Tracey Wynands offer every custom-made framing solution under the sun – from affordable and simple through to exquisite ornate gilded framing with protective museum-quality glass.
Windsor Gallery is sumptuously aesthetic, showcasing around 15 South Island artists with a diversity to appeal to all fancies, including the thought-provoking Rhonye Mcllroy, renowned photographer Andris Apse, Philip Beadle and Sue Syme. Wilhelmus Ruifrok, a framer at the gallery’s workshop, displays his own enigmatically intricate work. Artists’ prints and sculpture are also on offer.
To meet and mingle with artists at bi-monthly exhibitions, join up on www.windsorgallery.co.nz for notifications of exclusive events – or pop in to enjoy a browse and chat.

Art Metro

Easel-y the best: it’s never too late to start, learn to be an artist at Art Metro

Sarah Garland and Rodolfo Lopez began tutoring at Art Metro this year. We coax them from their easels to talk about why they love their jobs.

“I get to look at art all day and talk with the lovely students,” says Sarah. “Seeing works progress – it’s nice to know I can positively impact development.”
Sarah, who has a degree in Art History and in Fine Arts, tutors both beginners and advanced students, and is comfortable teaching all genres.
Visual art tutor and freelance professional animator, Rodolfo, says the diverse skill levels and interests of his students are both enjoyable and challenging. “It forces me to recall some of the techniques I learned and problems I encountered while working on my own projects.”
Sarah has great advice for beginners. “Try not to be apprehensive! We can break down the elements of a painting into manageable, achievable chunks. You will find success; everyone here is very positive and encouraging!”
Rodolfo’s advice to those returning to art after time out is to get back to basics. “Instead of creating a big masterpiece, do small studies; it will help get the feel of the essential skills and technicalities in painting.”
Sarah’s personal preferred medium is oils. “My style? Earnest contemporary figurative painting!”
Rodolfo’s favourite artist is Frank Frazetta. “Great art tells a story, evokes emotions, creates an imprint – it compels us to look again and again.”
Interview over, Sarah and Rodolfo rush back to their beloved easels. For more information, visit
www.artmetro.co.nz.