An exhibition of Waikanae artist’s Gillian Cronin’s bold colourful acrylic paintings celebrating the lives of ordinary women in the world’s developing countries, “Through Female Eyes”, opens at the Taupō Museum this Saturday 30 October.
Gillian has been painting for over 30 years and her preferred medium is acrylic on board or canvas.
The celebration of these women’s lives is a strong theme running through all her paintings, as Gillian loves telling stories, but she always balances this narrative in her own inner sense of harmony, colour, design, and spirituality.
Gillian said that often throughout the history of art, women have been the objects of the artist’s gaze, the artist generally being male, and the artist's model or muse being female.
“I want to turn the tables and paint a woman's eye view of the world. In particular, having travelled extensively I want my story in paint to be celebrating the lives of ordinary women in developing countries.”
Around twenty years ago, she visited Ethiopia. It was her first trip to Africa, and left a profound impression on her, both as a woman and as an artist, she said.
“Poverty in Africa exists on a completely different scale to the third-world living conditions I had previously encountered in Asia and South America.”
In 2017, she travelled around India and in 2019 she said she was lucky enough to visit Mexico and Guatemala. During these travels she gathered a rich tapestry of experiences and an overload of inspiration for subsequent paintings. She responded to the warm vibrant colours of India and Mexico as well as the people and the culture.
Taupō Museum exhibitions officer Kerence Stephen said Through Female Eyes will provide visitors with a feast for the eyes.
“We are excited to be hosting these works – Gillian’s balance and harmony between the colours and forms in her art is breath-taking,” she said.
The exhibition runs until 29 November. Taupō Museum is open seven days from 10am to 4.30pm and entry is free to Taupō District residents with proof of address.
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