Art Escape brings together a wealth of paintings from members of the Christchurch/Canterbury Cancer Society Art Groups. These works are representative of a wide range of genres that coalesce into a joyous engagement with paint, colour, subject and theme.
“I like making art that reflects the world I see around me…having an opportunity to make something beautiful and creative.”
The Art Group provides a welcome respite for those whose lives have been adversely affected by cancer. The sessions are happy gatherings of people who come together, not so much to talk about cancer, but to discuss how they plan to develop their latest art works. The group participants are mostly quiet and focussed after the initial rush of catch-up chat. Here art engagement is a purposeful escape into a world less fraught by work or illness. Participants are supported by volunteer tutors who are Fine Arts graduates and/or qualified teachers. Often the group members have had a desire to paint in the past and are now able to find time to put more difficult issues aside and become absorbed within a meditative world of art expression.
“My art is inspiring me to release what I feel inside and that is a freedom…my freedom.”
The thorny and perennial question of ‘what is art’ is easily answered in this context. The art is in the action of coming together, sharing ideas, producing work, and in the reframing and proclaiming of identity. Making art is a mental and physical pit stop, a creative and productive respite that displaces all-consuming illness, at the same time expressing participants’ identities as artists.
“Art class at the Cancer Society…acceptance, understanding and friendships made whilst we create.”
Opening Event: Tuesday 16 March 5.30-6.45pm
Hosted by: Eastside Gallery, 388 Worcester St, Christchurch.
Opening Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 11am-5pm, free onsite parking.
Image: “Summer’s Day” by Ray Haward.