Amy Blackburn hasn’t shied away from making a big personal statement with her latest work.
“I’ve very much been a closet Christian and I feel like where I am at the moment I want to be a bit more fearless.”
The Whanganui artist’s exhibition, Homeward Bound, is a collection of painted and collaged pieces depicting abstract landscapes.
“I’ve always worked with ideas of nature. That’s what grabs me,” Blackburn says.
“I’ve just moved out to live with my parents to kind of figure out where I’m headed. They live out at Tangimoana Beach so that’s where I’ve been captured by the landscape, the shifting clouds and the changing nature of the landscape as you’re driving through it.”
But there’s more behind Homeward Bound than that. It’s Blackburn’s debut solo show and she wanted her work to reflect herself.
“It’s not the easiest thing coming out and saying you believe in God and having a faith when the world is so opposed to it. It’s a delusional idea to many.
“You kind of get that sense in the art world, like, if you were to talk about spirituality you’d be fine. But I think there’s something about being a Christian, you feel a bit shunned or not taken seriously.
“And that’s a huge part of my life and what I believe in. It generates a lot of my thought.”
The 32-year-old is a Ucol Bachelor of Fine Arts Graduate and has been working on the show since August.
“You kind of have to keep cheering yourself along and confident in your ability to pull it off. I come from a creative family. It’s something I’ve always done.”
And painting is something she wants to do more of with a joint exhibition planned for Artists’ Open Studios next year.
“You kind of come to the end of your body of work and you’ve discovered new things with paint and you’ve pushed it a bit further and just want to see what happens next.
“Work produces more work and ideas. It’s a nice place to be.”
*Homeward Bound opens at Space Studio and Gallery on November 12.