Young artist keen to exhibit this weekend

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The Wanaka Arts Society Labour Weekend art exhibition is now open at the Lake Wanaka Centre, with more than 200 artworks in the exhibition and for the first time a gift shop featuring more than 60 local creations.

Last year’s youth prize winner – Ruby Burke (17), of Wanaka, is looking forward to exhibiting three works at this year’s Wanaka Arts Society Labour Weekend art exhibition.

“I’m so excited for this exhibition because the last exhibition was such an exciting time, such a success.”

One of her works was Painted Lady – a play on words because the delicate butterflies on the portrait were the painted lady species.

“I like using line or using symbols such as butterflies or birds to illustrate personality or mood.”

Using dry brush, pencil and acrylic, Miss Burke created mature works, often portraits using found images that she changed “to make it your own”.

“The human body is so beautiful.”

Other elements like birds or butterflies were sometimes added to her paintings.

“Playing with different elements like that creates a great contrast”.

Being able to enter her work and see it in an exhibition environment “really makes you want to keep going and keep producing artwork”.

The support from the Wanaka Arts Society had been “so amazing”.

“This is what I am passionate about, and I love doing it.”

Miss Burke tried not to repeat herself and was always seeking to extend her style.

What she enjoyed most was figure painting, “the human body is so fascinating”.

She hoped to study fine art in the future, and wanted to experiment with different styles.

Making connections with other members of the society was one aspect that Miss Burke was enjoying about the local art scene.

“I called up [mixed media artist] Kym Beaton the other day for some advice, so it was great, a lovely community feeling.”