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Taupō Museum feeling the heat as two hot exhibitions approach

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Two exhibitions that involve the use of intense heat to create art are coming to Taupō Museum.

Still Playing with Fire follows the successful 2015 exhibition Playing with Fire, by award-winning artist and former Taupō resident Fiona Tunnicliffe and other ceramic artists.

Still Playing with Fire has been curated by Tunnicliffe and the exhibition will display a variety of clay creations - ceramics, multimedia and pottery - from the functional to the inspirational in a new exhibition at Taupō Museum from May 19. She said potters and ceramic artists aimed to create work that was durable and able to withstand the elements, so it is a good exhibition to find something that would last.

"Colour, surface texture and the feel of the finished piece are vital to the ceramic process whether it’s a coffee mug or a garden sculpture, and the thing that cements that process is fire," she said.

"The process can include chemistry and physics, and to know when to call an electrician or how to sharpen a chainsaw."

She said the group of potters either dug clay out of the ground or bought it ready-made in packages. Fire was created in a variety of ways using wood, gas, diesel, electricity or sump oil.

"It is our own approach to these variables that makes our work unique and personal," she said.

Still Playing with Fire features the works of Tunnicliffe, Janet Smith, Maureen Allison, E.M Mertens, Elsa Lye, Charade Honey, Duncan Shearer and Gareth Andrews.

In addition to Still Playing with Fire, Wayne Hansen’s exhibition Soul is Eternal will further raise the temperature at the museum from May 26.

This collection of delicate pyrography (wood burning) artworks will be familiar to some as this has been previously shown at Taupō Museum a number of years ago.

The delicate works in this exhibition have taken huge dedication to produce. Hansen is a self-taught artist and solo father, and he used the growth and development of his six children as inspiration and also unknowingly began a spiritual journey that took eight years.

The repetitious nature of wood burning techniques gives space for thought and Wayne’s strong sense of spiritual health has grown in the process, with each piece represents a moment in the soul’s journey from youth to maturity.

Both exhibitions will fan the flame of curiosity amongst the district, with both finishing June 25.

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