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Waimakariri Artists in lockdown. Part 1: Ivan Button

Artists in Waimakariri will be financially hit as they miss out on cancelled art shows in the district caused by the Covd-19 outbreak.

The Kaiapoi Art Expo was forced to cancel this year’s popular event. With over 4,000 visitors to the exhibition showcasing over 100 local artists the loss is one of many for artists.

Waimakariri’s three galleries, Oxford, Rangiora’s Chamber gallery and Art on the Quay in Kaiapoi are all closed under the current Covid-19 regulations and are hoping to open with the move to Level 2.

Waikuku Artists’ annual exhibition was due to open on March 20 and will now be held later in the year.

Rangiora’s Ivan Button, whose popular European and New Zealand landscapes sold well at last year’s Kaiapoi Art Expo when he featured as guest artist, has kept busy during lockdown.

He was well prepared for the Kaiapoi Art Expo’s July event long before its cancellation was announced.

“Instead of leaving everything to the last minute like I usually do, I decided to be proactive and the entries have been finished for over a month now.”

Nothing is selling at the moment but that doesn’t stop him. “I want to paint whether I need to or not, it’s therapy for me.”

Ivan was also looking forward to exhibiting at Christchurch’s Windsor Gallery which was due to open last Friday but that too has of course been a non-starter.

“I have twelve very large Jackson Pollock style paintings wrapped ready to go, lined up in the hall,” he says.

 They are a total departure from his usual landscapes and he has been excited about this new direction inspired by the New York 1950s artist, famous for his large expressionist paintings.

“They will exhibit them eventually I guess but who knows when?”

During lockdown he has spent time clearing out the family lounge which had been serving as a gallery with his work on show.

“Lesley is thrilled to have her lounge back and can now sit and have a coffee in here,” he says.

Two or three dealer galleries sell Ivan’s work and although he hasn’t sold much recently it hasn’t stopped stop him from painting more.

“I have a house full of stuff I don’t know what to do with,” he says.

Lockdown may well have provided artists with more time to create but it has reduced their options for selling and the loss of the exhibition events to the public will have a huge impact making 2020 so far, a time of great loss to our culture and entertainment.

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