Urban streetscapes teeming with people will hang alongside paintings of rugged hills and rocky coastlines in an exhibition of new paintings by Shelley Masters and Jenny Keate, opening at Cuba Street’s Thistle Hall on Tuesday 18 October.
The artists paint from disparate points of view: both to each other and to their immediate surroundings. Shelley lives in Martinborough and paints crowded city scenes; Jenny lives in central Wellington and paints unpeopled landscapes.
Despite this contrast, the artists say they draw on a common theme: revisiting the places that shaped them.
Shelley Masters reflects on his British childhood, “When I was young my family moved house countless times. The places I felt most secure were those city apartments with a high viewpoint where I could look down on passing crowds.”
In his paintings, he revisits the secure, crowded city scenes from his childhood.
Jenny Keate says the satisfaction in landscape painting comes from communicating her appreciation of a scene. “I work from a city studio but I’m more drawn to the unbuilt environment. To paint something, you have to really look at it and this creates a feeling of closeness with the subject and a sense that it is yours. It’s a way of engaging a place and making it your own.”