Perfect summer seaside days key to art work

17 March 2005

Taranaki's Caz Novak has had a painting chosen for a national landscape exhibition at Taupo.

Our Land opens at Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery this weekend and Novak's "quintessential Kiwi coastline" will be in fine company.

Among the 30 invited artists are Paul Cato, of Queenstown, and Dick Frizzell, of Hawke's Bay, with the latter being the keynote speaker for Saturday's opening.

Novak's bold-coloured sgraffito-method acrylic painting features native plants with the sea as a backdrop.

"It's recognisable as New Zealand, but no particular place," she said.

The picture was part of her Pacifica series. "It is our Kiwi thoughts about perfect summer days and our childhood memories, which seem brighter than the summers we have now."

Novak said she took photographs of plants as a reference for her paintings, but did not copy them literally. "I manipulate and compose the piece from there."

To paint the waves, she only has to look out of her Oakura home to see the Tasman Sea.

People from all over the world have bought her paintings and in 2003 she was asked by an international jury to exhibit at the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Florence, Italy.

Taupo gallery director Karen Williams said Novak's work had been hand-picked after a brainstorming session.

"Her work is really amazing we have been aware of her website and her work and really wanted her to be involved."

Ms Williams said the Our Land concept was new.

"This is the first time we have done this."

Our Land runs from Saturday until April 27.