Artworks inspired by past, future

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Kerry Irvine’s art is motivated by a message close to her heart — treasure memories, but do not dwell on the past.
A collection of her works — spray-painted stencil prints and hand-painted solar plate etchings — are now on display at Timaru’s York Street Gallery of Fine Art.
Irvine said the collection, titled ‘‘A Penny for Your Thoughts’’, aimed to inspire people to cherish memories while still looking forward to the future.
Her father died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping in a caravan in December 2010, making her realise how important that philosophy was, she said.
The incident, in which her mother survived, prompted her to launch a campaign to encourage people to install carbon monoxide sensors.
Her focus in her art on the past was also spurred by an event involving her parents.
‘‘When clearing out my parents’ house five years ago, I came across items and photos that stirred many memories of my childhood, memories that had faded away with the years,’’ she said.
‘‘These items were of no great monetary value except to show how far our world has developed and revisiting these household items, my childhood memories were ignited again.
‘‘I have now become intrigued with the simple ways of yesteryear, as shown in the images on display.’’
Among the images on display at York Street Gallery of Fine Art are a series of wartime-inspired works, based on memories passed on to her by her parents.
‘‘Both were too young to serve. However, my father’s two eldest brothers went to war, but only one returned. This influenced him greatly and united the family to overcome their loss,’’ she said.
Irvine’s art involves a stencil print technique. She spent hours cutting the stencils out by hand, she said.
‘‘I then use the stencils and spray paint in stages, building layers to create a final picture.’’
Also on display is Irvine’s solar plate etching technique, ‘‘an extremely involved procedure’’.
‘‘After printing the images, I watercolour the print.’’
Colour always featured in her works, even if the subject matter was dark.
‘‘Because life is in colour,’’ she said.
‘‘A Penny for Your Thoughts’’ will be on display until October 6.