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New exhibitions open at Mahara Gallery
July 2012

Three new exhibitions have opened at the Mahara Gallery in Waikanae.

Strive Towards your Destiny III features works from Arie Hellendoorn, Douglas Stichbury and Irene Ferguson - In association with Suite Gallery

Also in New SPACE at Mahara: Cristina Silaghi, travels and findings
and Salvatore Passarella, Il Seminatore Dal grano al pane.

Strive Towards your Destiny III
Arie Hellendoorn, Douglas Stichbury and Irene Ferguson

This exhibition brings together three younger artists in the early phases of their careers, having all graduated from university art programmes. They each play knowingly with various traditions in art history: in particular the subject of the figure and portraiture, and with styles from realism, through romanticism to surrealism. As Mark Amery wrote in a review of the first iteration of this group show at the City Gallery's Michael Hirschfeld Gallery in 2008: 'art often puts a twist on things around us to gain our attention' and these artists each present works that are surprising, intriguing and challenging.

Arie Hellendoorn
Arie Hellendoorn holds a BFA from Massey University Wellington (2007) where he studied with Douglas Stichbury and they have continued working and exhibiting together since graduating. This exhibition includes a collaborative painting Pool, which they made together in 2010. Both artists reference historical painting, and in particular play with the conventions of portraiture and representations of the human form. Arie Hellendoorn was born in 1980 in the Netherlands and emigrated to New Zealand when he was six. The 2009 works in this exhibition were made while he was based in Korea. He now lives in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Douglas Stichbury
Born in Palmerston North in 1987, since graduating from Massey University Wellington with a Master of Fine Arts (2009), Douglas Stichbury has based his art practice in various places in the Asia region. He currently lives and works in Tainan, a small city in southern Taiwan. While not making art, Douglas spends his time practicing Chinese, freelancing as an illustrator and plotting the next country to live in.

Irene Ferguson
Born in Hokitika, New Zealand, in 1970, Irene Ferguson studied at the Otago School of Fine Art, the New York Academy of Fine Art where she learned a classic mastery of the figure, and completed her Masters in Fine Arts, and Charles H. Cecil Studio, Florence. She was awarded the William Hodges Fellowship in 2002 and won the 2008 New Zealand Portrait Gallery/Adam Portraiture Award in 2008. Irene Ferguson moved from Paekākāriki to Melbourne, Australia, in 2011, where she now lives and works.

Irene Ferguson's interest also lies within the tradition of portraiture and art history. Her works are often theatrical, surreal and unsettling. She is particularly interested in the relationship between her subject, the viewer, and herself as artist. She explores the act of looking itself: what it looks like to watch, to be caught in observation.

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