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Friendship inspires exhibition collaboration


Tracey Christie-355Friendship between artists has always been inspiring; in this exhibition are two shows of stunning art bought together by friendship, celebrating people, family and place. Rebecca, fresh out of art school and teaching college, was Tracey's art teacher and set the foundations for Tracey's career in art. 
Twenty one years of being friends, encouraging each other in art practice, working towards the goal of exhibiting has resulted in a remarkable, stunning exhibition by Rebecca Barclay Clist and Tracey Christie at Mangawhai Artists Gallery.

Tracey’s work in ‘Willow Garden’ stems from her journey from Auckland to Paparoa with her young family. 

“My husband and I moved back into my family home on the Kaipara Harbour and I found that old and new memories started to merge, flourish and grow much like an overgrown summer garden. I painted a botanical mural on my daughter’s wall that was the starting point and I found myself recalling floral bed sheets, retro sun umbrellas and wildflower arrangements from my childhood,” explains Tracey, who says the poignancy of memory with her new experience of motherhood is at the heart of her work. 

Tracey paints with expressive, vibrant paint, cutting out and arranging images, the irregularity of the edges and imperfections are all part of the work which reflect flora and fauna as well as memories. 

In ‘Scratching the Surface’, Rebecca began by interviewing people to create a snapshot of the people we live alongside.

“Initially the idea came from thinking about where people are at in their own lives, the aspects of loss in cultural identity, in my own family through adoption and estrangement, and what has been gained through these events… this was my starting point,” says Rebecca.
“The collection of images brings my creative perspective to the fore, ideas differed from person to person. While I have been preparing and painting these images, I feel like I have sat with people I admire and am thankful that they have shared something of themselves, trusting me to decipher their words into my own creative expression which is seated in being loved by God.’

Scratching the Surface & Willow Garden, Mangawhai Artists Gallery, Nov 22 to Dec 5, mangawhaiartists.co.nz

Tracey Christie; memory and motherhood at the heart of her work.

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