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Thursday, 03 June 2021 12:55

Take a cultural break from those machines

Written by  Staff Reporters
Some of Waikato artist Dianne Baker’s work which will be on display in Morrinsville during Fieldays. Some of Waikato artist Dianne Baker’s work which will be on display in Morrinsville during Fieldays.

Visitors to this year’s Fieldays, who want a bit of a break from looking at all the new tractors and machinery, can pop over to Morrinsville to take in some rural art.

‘Connections with Land’, an exhibition in the Community Gallery at the Wallace Gallery in Morrinsville, will have up to 21 paintings by Waikato artist Dianne Baker. It showcases people working with and enjoying their animals on the land – as well as a beekeeper and gardeners working in their respective environments.

Baker describes the artwork as showing the joy of connection with land, as well as presenting images of the reality of rural life.

The exhibition also includes a smaller series of three works that traces the joy of the working relationship of a farmer and his farm dog. The first image portrays the farmer and his dog as mutual respected workmates, the second image shows the aged dog and in the final third image we see the sad task of laying to rest an old dog under a willow tree.

Also featured are pictures depicting farmers and animals in drought, wet weather and in plenty of grass.

Other works are about people enjoying a close relationship with their calves or a couple of cows demanding affection.

Baker says that throughout her career as an artist, she couldn’t settle with landscapes or formal portraiture until the day she realised that combining the two was her strength. By doing so she could paint the people and/or the animals within the environment together.

February and March 2020 were the months of drought for farmers in the Waikato and then Covid lockdown came for the rest of New Zealand. Baker says this was a perfect time for her to concentrate on her paintings.

She had already begun working on paintings under the heading of Connections with Land. So, when Covid lockdown started she had plenty of art material and a healthy pile of images and ideas to work towards completing her exhibition work in her studio.

Baker says she paints to showcase the joy and the toil of life working with land, weather, animals, gardens and people.

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