Visual arts scene ‘gaining strength’

SHARE

Five questions with Clyde artist Melanie Eade.
Q: What kind of art do you enjoy creating and what has been your journey as an artist?

My journey as an artist started 27 years ago as a fine arts student, followed by graphic design and then 20 years in the retail design sector.

From early 2000 I was on a quest to “find my style” but it wasn’t until we moved to Clyde in 2009 that I truly began to develop as an artist.

I enjoy capturing the uniqueness of the area from the ever-changing landscapes and rich visual history of the gold era.

Q: What is it about Central Otago that attracts and inspires artists?

The lifestyle. There is something about Central that allows us to be ourselves.

It gives us space, inspires us and, in a way, nurtures us.

It’s a case of sink or swim in the cities.

You’re knocking on gallery doors with so many other artists, not knowing if your art has that “X-factor”, and then there’s the cost of living.

We live in a place where it’s still possible to live the dream.

Q: How would you describe the Central Otago arts community and the diversity of the art produced here?

In a word – prolific. We are all very passionate about our “piece of paradise”.

There is a synergy starting to resonate between the towns as well as between the artists and art supporters.

Q: Where do the visual arts sit alongside other areas such as the performing arts, heritage, food, wine and the environment?

With the introduction of the Central Otago Arts Trail, Art on the Trail, Gold Awards and arts events held throughout the region, the visual arts scene is gaining strength.

However, having run a B&B for the last seven years we found visitors were surprised by our rich visual history and the high calibre of our restaurants and artists.

Strong marketing appeared to have the Otago Central Rail Trail and Central Otago wine region in the forefront of the majority of visitors to the area.

Q: What is it like to have finally opened your own gallery in Clyde? What do you hope the gallery will provide for artists and art-lovers?

This is just a teaser – in Easter next year we will move along the road to our larger premises.

When we decided to open a gallery it was because we felt the timing was right.

Clyde is now becoming a destination point and what better place to raise the profile of art in the region.

I am in an enviable position, having my studio in the gallery, surrounded by artists we represent.

The icing on the cake is having people come in, fall in love with a piece of work and take it home.