SHARE

Forget the wedding, it is all about the “Hen Party, [so] let the party be gin”.

Wanaka-based artist Lizzie Carruthers came up with the creative title for her latest solo exhibition at Hullabaloo Art Space, where her colourful creations of hens have taken centre stage.

The event was one her late mother-in-law, Ruth Hunt, would have approved of.

“It is a bizarre tribute to my wonderful mother-in-law who loved a party, gin, hens, but most of all family.

“She would have loved [the exhibition].”

Carruthers said her mother-in-law’s desire to have hens did not stop when she relocated to a retirement village where space was limited.

She was determined to make it work.

“She had hens out the back. She wasn’t really meant to, but all the residents loved the sound of the hens laying in the morning.”

Anyone who loves art, animals or a reason to smile will not be disappointed by Carruthers’ latest collection of art, which has been added to the gallery’s solo exhibition space in Cromwell.

The opening, which recently took place, featured celebrity chooks Cheryl Crow and Victoria Peckham, but unfortunately Russell Crow could not make it, she joked.

Carruthers’ colourful collection focuses on the personality and habits each of her chooks bring to her Wanaka farm, including one affectionately called Chicken Kiev.

She also has fond memories of Elvis, named for her black feathers and sweeping hairstyle, but that hen has since died.

Her hen-inspired art project was one she has enjoyed.

“[It is] a delightful distraction,” she said, of her works and the animals who have become her regular models.

“It’s just a laugh.

“It’s almost like sitting at a railway station watching people [watching] their personalities and pecking order.”

The exhibition will remain on display until April 4.

ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz