The Trusts Arts Exhibition, which was held in Auckland in September, attracted our interest for a number of reasons. First, the creative people from our community were involved. And secondly, the exhibition celebrated its 35th anniversary. It is an annual event, so we made sure not to miss it.

We thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition. It showcased art pieces across multiple genres created by young, emerging and established artists: paintings in different techniques, photographs, installations, and sculptures. Along with viewing the art pieces, the visitors could vote for their favourite work and make a purchase. The final winners were assessed and selected by a judges panel. This was an overall impression, but now I would like to get down to specific details and the little surprises that we came across. 

In a large spacious hall divided into sections, I was immediately drawn to an unusual installation: attached to a big white frame a row of clothes pegs holding tiny crochet booties and a baby bodysuit. Inside the frame, there were rows of 28 parking tickets, accumulated by the artist mother for parking on hospital grounds on her daily visits to see her baby daughter born 4 months prematurely and cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit for 28 days. On the back of each ticket, there were drawings depicting each stage of the baby’s development. This strikingly unusual work by Tatiana Zimina is an embodiment of her emotional and personal experience during that difficult period for her family. I was not the only one moved by what I saw. I could overhear the other visitors talking approvingly of her work. 

We were pleasantly surprised to see the works by Irina Velman whose art we had been introduced to about a year ago when Irina participated in the art contest organised by “Our Harbour” (see issue #111 of April 2022). Her distinctive style and technique could not be mistaken. It was impressive! Then there was a graceful and airy sculpture of a young ballerina by Alexander Efimov. Well, I don’t want to say too much, but would rather save space for the works of our artists. 

One last surprise was the art display by Peter Purcell who we’ve never heard of (is it only us?), but our eyes were immediately drawn to a typically European theme – one of Napoleon’s army battles. Now I am curious to learn more about this artist, especially that one of Alexander Yefimov’s sculptures at the exhibition was Peter Purcell’s head set in plaster… This story will be continued as we find out more.                                                       

Rimma Shkrabina, Auckland

Translated by Elena Naumova