By Guy williams - Timaru Courier - November 4th 2010

Vibrancy and motions Timaru painter Roselyn Cloake has drawn on the natural environment and her Dutch-New Zealand ancestry for her exhibition at Washdyke's Saffron Gallery.

MUSIC and art are intertwined in the life of Timaru artist Roselyn Cloake, but this year her art has taken precedence. The result is her first exhibition of paintings for two years which will continue at Washdyke's Saffron Gallery until November 12th. The multi talented Cloake is a graphic and web designer by day, a frequent performer as a singer and pianist at Timaru venues by night, and is also Past President of the Aigantighe. Cloake said she had worked on her solo music project for two years, "but this year I've been putting all the inspiration into my art". 

Roselyn Cloake tc4rose2

Exhibiting her work publicly was similar to performing music in front of an audience. "It can be quite daunting to put it all out there." She reminded herself that viewers would interpret her art for themselves, but hoped her paintings would make them "feel energy".

With acrylic on canvas as her medium, she employed a style she described as "vibrant with lots of motion". "I try to capture the things you can see, but also the things you can't see such as the wind. "It's also about my ancestry. My mother's lineage is from Holland and my father is from New Zealand. I always thought I was weird because I was half dutch, and then when I went to Holland I realised I was weird because I was half kiwi."

Her paintings also had an environmental theme, something that has been reinforced in her mind the by the effects of the Canterbury earthquake. "I think that's where my work is going to be heading - having an understanding that there's more to life than electricity and bricks and mortar."

Roselyn Cloake with The Art of Canterbury guide in the Aigantighe Art Museum's sculpture garden which both feature in the comprehensive guide to art in the region.

By Ellie Constantine - Herald Correspondent | Timaru Herald Newspaper 01/09/08

Roselyn Cloake cantart2FOR ART’S SAKE: Roselyn Cloake with The Art of Canterbury guide in the Aigantighe Art Museum’s sculpture garden which both feature in the comprehensive guide to art in the region. 

An art work in its own right, The Art of Canterbury guide has surprised many with the quality and quantity of art in the region. 

\In December 2007, a comprehensive guide to art and artists in Canterbury was distributed by Arts Canterbury, a group of volunteers devoted to the production and promotion of art in the region. Planning for the guide began in 2001, after the idea was suggested by the Christchurch Community Arts Council, before it was steered into fruition by Arts Canterbury, chairperson David Sell said. Arts Canterbury board member and local artist, Roselyn Cloake, said the board was influenced by art guides being produced in other regions, specifically Nelson which has a guide in its sixth edition. 

The guide is the only book which encompasses the entire region, she said, as smaller centres in the region produced guides in the form of brochures. However, she believed the guide enhanced what others in the region were doing, rather then detracted from them.

Funding for the venture came from a range of places, including the Department of Labour, but ongoing funding came from the Christchurch City Council and the Canterbury Community Trust, Mr Sell said. There was also a lot of local Timaru support for the project. “We recognise the community support, especially the Aigantighe Art Museum and the council who were supportive in helping to promote the arts in the area,’’ Miss Cloake said. It was rather a steep learning curve for those involved as the first issue was created without the benefit of previous experience. This meant they had to calculate how many copies of the guide they could realistically sell and how to market them, Mr Sell said.

They adopted a non-selective entry policy which, though initially risky, turned out to be a good one as it brought many different artists to their attention, he said.“It has certainly been a valuable experience for those of us involved in its production, to learn how many good and interesting artists there are in the Canterbury community.’’ Listings in the guide ranged in price from $100 to $500, depending on the size of the advertisement and if it was for a single artist or gallery.

Distribution of the 4000 copies was largely in the Canterbury region, but there had been some interest from other parts of New Zealand, including from chain bookstore Whitcoulls, who have requested copies for their national network, Mr Sell said. Around 25 per cent of those books printed had sold so far, he said. “We believe it has been a very successful venture artistically, especially considering that it has been done by a group of art enthusiasts rather than business people.’’ The board had received a lot of positive feedback about the guide ``including surprise at the quality and quantity of art in Canterbury’’, Mr Sell said. “Everyone I have spoken to has been very supportive, they have mentioned how great the look and usability of the guide is,’’ Miss Cloake said. Timaru Visitor Information Centre manager, Liz Mather, hoped sales and interest in the book would take off over the summer months, especially around the time of the Timaru Festival of Roses when many visitors came to the region who were interested in the arts scene. “It looks really good because it is really bright.’’ The presentation and quality of the guide was not only praised by the users but also those artists who featured in it as it is a positive marketing tool for them, Miss Cloake said. Miss Cloake’s art featured on the guide’s cover which she described as a huge privilege.

She first became involved in Arts Canterbury over six years ago as her father was also a member. She said she was the youngest involved by about 30 years and she loves how it enables her to contribute to art in the region. “The art community is where I wanted to invest my time and what I have done has created a huge benefit to them.’’ Miss Cloake believed the guide gave her credibility as an artist. As she has no studio, the guide works as a way to direct people to her website where they can then make appointments to see her. The board planned to publish an updated guide every two years. The next issue should be available around October, 2009, depending on how sales of the current issue went, Mr Sell said. There are no plans to change the format of the book as it has been consistently praised, however cover design and layout details may be modified, he said. “There will be people who will feel like they missed out on the first edition, so interest in it will be high,’’ Miss Cloake said.

ARTIST AT WORK: Roselyn Cloake working on some miniatures with one of her finished paintings behind.

South Canterbury artists could soon be featuring on a second arts guide, as Arts Canterbury is preparing a guide for the region. Last year, Aoraki Development Trust published an arts trail, and this year Arts Canterbury has proposed an in-depth Arts Guide. Timaru artists and Arts Canterbury board member Roselyn Cloake has had an artwork of her’s chosen for the cover of the Canterbury guide. She will be approaching artists around South Canterbury about the guide. ‘‘The guide will be A5 and spiral bound. ‘‘I don’t think we are doubling up, the guide will be totally different to the arts trail which is a folded A4 from a different organisation.’’ The arts guide was being modeled on one that has been produced in Nelson successfully for the past six years. The guide will be pitched at tourists as well as local people who seek information about artists and galleries in the region. It will be available for viewing at public libraries and for sale at art galleries, information offices, selected book stores and arts organisations.
- Herald Staff, Timaru Herald Newspaper 9/7/07

WIND AND TULIPS: Timaru artist and coordinator of the first Canterbury art guide Roselyn Cloake with one of her works.

Coordinator of the South Canterbury section of the guide, Timaru artist Roselyn Cloake, who will have one of her works feature on the front of the guide, said the large, A5 format book of about 200 pages, would be the first comprehensive guide to the art of the Canterbury region. Financial assistance from the Canterbury Community Trust, Creative Communities and the Christchurch City Council has enabled the voluntary committee of Arts Canterbury to bring this worthwhile project to fruition, she said.
Miss Cloake said the guide would be of particular interest to tourists as well as local people who seeking information about artists and galleries in the region. "When published the guide book would will be available for viewing at public libraries and for sale at art galleries, information offices, selected book stores and arts organisation's", she said. “We have produced an information brochure for those people who might want to be included in the guide. They can get a brochure from Arts Canterbury in the Old Chemistry block, Arts Centre, in Christchurch,” she said.
Miss Cloake, who was born in Timaru to parents from New Zealand and Holland. Said it was a significant honor to have one of her works on the front of the first guide book Much of her work reflects her family background and ancestors. They are represented by the rolling mountains and north west winds of Canterbury and by the tulip fields, windmills and canals of the traditional Dutch landscape. “I spent a year in Holland with my extended family and was inspired by Cubist painter Juan Gris, who presented the world as if looking though the facets of a crystal glass. This approach offered me the freedom to put my own interpretation on realistic situations and objects which have personal meaning.” She said, while her work was instantly recognisable as landscape, there were abstract elements that keep eyes drawn to the work. "The vibrant colours and clean lines are similar to cartoon and pop art styles, giving movement to the scenes.” For information about Arts Canterbury please visit: