Artist’s work big boost for auction

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Funds raised by the Wanaka Pre-School at its annual charity art auction this week could reach a record high thanks to the inclusion of work by an artist who once aimed for the moon — literally.
Reclusive Wanaka photographer, painter and environmental artist, Makouri Scott has given the pre-school one of his paintings — Asasi #3 — for inclusion in this year’s event taking place tomorrow night.
One of a series of 14 works in the Aotearoa Space Abstraction Series, the painting features thrown powdered gold and silver and is an Italian oil etched on canvas.
Pre-school administrator Lo Scurr said Scott would be one of 70 artists represented at the auction.
’’It would feature about 180 pieces, from paintings to ceramic and glass work and jewellery,’’ Mrs Scurr said.
The inclusion of Scott’s highly valuable work was particularly special.
‘‘In 2009, he was the first New Zealander to book a place on Richard Branson’s $NZ330,000 space holiday flight with Virgin Galactic,’’ she said.
‘‘He came to the preschool, talked with the children and said we should put a very high reserve on the painting as it was worth ‘a lot of money’.’’
Mrs Scurr declined to tell The News the value he put on the framed painting but said if it sold it would certainly boost funds raised at the auction, as his work was known for going for high prices.
Formerly, each painting in the series was protected by a bespoke space crate designed by Philip Sharpe, of Weta Studios.
‘‘Unfortunately, our painting is not coming with that,’’ she said.
‘‘Last year, we raised more than $20,000, so it could be even more this year,’’ she said.
Artists from around New Zealand had submitted work for Friday night’s event taking place at The Venue on Orchard Rd.
‘‘It has become one of the art events ‘to do’. Artists know they not only get great exposure but they also sell their work. Last year, we sold nearly all the pieces,’’ Mrs Scurr said.
Proceeds from the auction have been earmarked for a revamp of the pre-school’s outdoor area. – Viewing of work at the 2016 Wanaka Pre-School Art auction starts at 6pm with the auction, managed by Duncan Good, to start at 7.30pm.