WHAT A WAY TO GET TO LONDON!
In late March this year I learned that my painting "Pounamu - Our Treasure " had been selected to hang in The Olympic Fine Arts 2012 - London Exhibition, and that I was being sent a return ticket to the Opening at the Barbican in London on August 1st.
Not normally given to entering art competitions, I had thought this invitation too tempting to ignore. The challenge was the theme, which included the Olympic Charter ideals of 'friendship, unity and fair competition', along with The River Thames and The Great Wall!
Trying to come up with an original take on this, as well as a NZ flavour, I painted a pounamu pendant with the suggestion of a carving inside. In the description I wrote that pounamu is considered a great treasure ( taonga), given and received with love, worn with respect, and handed down through generations. Seemed to address the requirements!
This Exhibition follows a similar successful Arts Festival held in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics. The Beijing team, while remaining principal sponsors, are "passing the art torch on to London", where the project has received the full patronage of the IOC and the support of the Greater London Authority, and forms part of the official Cultural Olympiad.
The paintings, 500 from around the world, become part of a permanent Olympic Art Collection.
A dramatic Opening Function introduced us to the major exhibition - "Creative Cities Collection - Olympic Fine Arts 2012" at the Barbican Art Centre - 500 contemporary works from around the world to celebrate the Olympic ideals and to encourage dialogue between nations.
And dialogue there certainly was - about 250 of the artists had made it to London, and we were treated to a wonderful week of art galleries, museums and plain old sightseeing.
A truly international cultural and artistic exchange - and great fun!
A full size copy of the " Pounamu - Our Treasure " is now on the wall in Southlight Studio gallery.