NZ's award-winning landscape artist Hannah Riden is to show an iconic exhibition of works at the new Arts in Oxford Gallery, opening next week. Prime Minister John Key is planning to visit the exhibition, showing his support for New Zealand art and community art initiatives such as the new gallery.
Her paintings will include ground-breaking new works, featuring scenes such as The Waimak, Mt Cass, Lake Ohau, Christchurch, Lindis and Lyttelton, as well as a wide selection of retrospective works that include landscapes, still life and figure paintings. The new gallery is a perfect setting to show off such a large and varied collection of her works, with state of the art lighting and a rare showcase atmosphere. The gallery was offically opened by The Minister of Arts in February this year, and already has a number of other renowned artists on its books.
Riden lives in North Canterbury by the beach, and so has a strong interest in promoting the local arts scene. She has undertaken several community art projects, and has taught in local schools. In the last year she has had major shows and residencies at exclusive venues such as The George Hotel, Pegasus bay Winery, and the Canterbury Club. In 2008 she was named landscape artist of the year at the New Zealand Art Awards in Tauranga, which increased her status and added to her respect as an artist working at the peak of landscape painting in New Zealand.
Riden has a bachelor's degree from Oxford University, a Masters from Edinburgh, and had nearly completed a PhD on molecular biology at Massey in Palmerston North when she decided to change careers and follow the dream of becoming an artist. She began by using her knowledge of botanical art to paint flowers in watercolour, and progressed to landscape painting in oils, deeply inspired by New Zealand's spectacular scenery and magical light, and using her spare time to study art history and advance her technique. Her painting has gone from strength to strength, and she now tutors and illustrates in addition to staging regular solo shows.
The exhibition opens Thursday June 3rd, and runs through till June 30th.
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