Full Circle is an exhibition featuring two significant Mangawhai artists, Wendy Leach and Nicola Everett.
In her latest work Wendy Leach has explored the Mangawhai coastline, and in particular the Pohutukawa trees on Mangawhai beach. This is a departure from the abstract paintings she has been exhibiting in recent years
“I am very excited about these new works,” she says. “It is a long time since I exhibited landscapes and this exhibition does represent a renewed interest in painting landscape. Hence the title reference, I have come a ‘full circle’.
Wendy says in 2019 she was exploring “abstract imagery around elements of land and sea, coastal estuaries, tidal flow and rivers” and this led her to look at the point where the land and the sea meet; the coastline and its pohutukawa trees.
Wendy has always been drawn to the trees along Mangawhai beach and has painted them in the past. She says in March this year she started painting these pohutukawas on the coastline to see where the exploration would take her. The strong majestic forms of the trees, the light and the dramatic elements of wind and sky have provided a wealth of inspiration and the resulting paintings form the complete body of work for the exhibition.
Wendy has had 21 solo exhibitions, in New Zealand and overseas, with a very successful painting career spanning 30 years. She has a Master of Fine Arts and is also a teacher of painting and drawing. Her recent course was filled within days and she is planning on further courses in 2021.
Nicola Everett is a very popular Mangawhai artist who also draws inspiration from her local environment. Her particular interest has been the balance of nature and how humans have altered it – to a point of no return. This change has in part been subtle but cumulative. She likes to explore these concerns in many different media – printmaking, ceramics, paintings and installations. Nicola exhibits regularly in solo and group shows at Mangawhai Artists Gallery.
Nicola was a finalist in the Portage Ceramic Awards, 2019, with her work 'Long Black Tide'. In February 2018, her solo exhibition 'Gold and Oil, the Legacy and Menace of the Niagara' alerted locals and visitors of the oil leak threat of the RMS
Niagara which was sunk off the coast in 1940. Nicola's exhibition raised awareness locally and gained national publicity.
In this joint exhibition ‘Full Circle’ Nicola is concerned with the experience of the viewer within the gallery space. She will present an installation of 25 painted panels which encircle the viewer and she encourages the viewer to pause, to take the time to sit in the gallery and contemplate the work.
Says Nicola: “I don’t want the viewer to look deeply into each panel for meaning or detail, this installation is to be read as one work, drawing attention to the relationship between the work, the space and the viewer.”
Nicola has used the circle in many of her recent works and this work is a continuation of her interest in this element.
“The circle to me is symbolic of the natural cycle in nature, birth, growth, death and decay and it contains this energy.”
Nicola also offers workshops at the new gallery workspace.
n Full Circle, January 29 to February 10, opening night at 6pm. Mangawhai Artists Gallery, 45 Moir St. See mangawhaiartists.co.nz. for more info. Gallery open 10am–3pm daily.
Nicola Everett (left) and Wendy Leach are getting renewed artistic inspiration from their local environment. PHOTO/SUPPLIED