Heather Russell Willison

December 10th 2010 - January 12th 2011, Community Gallery

"I was born in NZ in 1962, I have spent most of my life in rural Waikato and currently live near Te Aroha.

I have worked full time on the development of my art for the past 9 years. I am self-taught but have been strongly influenced by the writing of Desiderous Orban, the work of Fred Williams and by the teaching of contemporary artist Paul Judd.

I most commonly work with acrylic or a combination of acrylic/shellac and oil sticks. I am compelled to paint my own interpretation of things that surround me: trees, the landscape, my garden, goldfish in my pond, things that are part of my everyday experience. My intention is to potray through my work "simplicity" laid down in a complex and creative way, and also invoke an emotional response rather than provoke intellectual analysis. Also to echo the words of Li Po:

That art is best
Which to the soul range gives no bound
Something beside the form
Something beyond the sound.

The works in this exhibition are indicative of what I have been focussing on over the past two years.

The butterfly series began during the drought a couple of summers ago. The white butterflies in my garden reached huge numbers and just walking into my garden would cause a cloud of butterflies to take flight. one of those truly magic moments with nature, and one that I have been trying to capture ever since.

There are two wetland areas which are an ongoing series with me.

One is Howarth wetland reserve which has been developed as a recreational walking track and is situated right in Te Aroha. This has been extensively planted with many types of trees and the fruit from these trees feeds the huge amount of bird life that lives there. In all seasons this area is a real inspiration to me.

The other is Kopuatai wetland area which is only a few kilometres from my home. This is the largest (10,201ha) unaltered peat bog in New Zealand and is also unique globally. I find I am quite fascinated with this area. As far as you can see the view is unchanging and repetitive. It is this very thing that I love. In rural Waikato it is very rare to be able to view such a large area and not see a single house or cow."

Heather Russell Willison
Dec 2010