cs arts annual exhibition

Co-Founder Michelle Dawson says, "CS Arts is an Invercargill based visual arts studio for people with disabilities. CS Arts encourages students to create, giving them a voice in the community and a channel for communication." CS Arts facilitates creativity in individuals, choosing to adopt a responsive approach to engaging participants in the studio environment rather than following a fixed curriculum. It is one of many creative spaces around New Zealand (see https://artsaccess.org.nz/Creative%20Spaces). Getting to know and understand the needs of the community is key to the CS Arts' mandate as they work in partnership with many other organisations in the city to help facilitate inclusion and access for people with disabilities. CS Arts was the recipient of the inaugural Big 'A' Creative Space Award from Arts Access (presented at Parliament Buildings in 2007) which acknowledges the contribution this vital organisation makes to our community. 

The CS Art Annual exhibition featured more than 30 student artworks and was hosted at SIT's Raw Gallery, 25 Don St, during the Southland Festival of the Arts. CS Arts also participated in White Night on Saturday 5th May. We were host to a number of talented local musicians on the night that brought the gallery to life and facilitated a steady stream of visitors. Many thanks to CNZ Creative Communities Invercargill and Southland for their support with the 2018 exhibition. 

30th April - 18th May 2018

Opening Friday 27th April 6pm

Opening hours: 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

SIT Downtown Campus, 25 Don St

FREE Admission

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CS Arts Team

Michelle Dawson: Co-Founder

Alana Brett: Tutor

Gina van Wichen: Tutor

Jacqueline Fryer: President

Robyn Zamani: Trustee

Marjorie Leslie: Trustee

Make Hamill: Trustee

Raewyn Maha: Trustee

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student profile

Lee Harland

A student at C.S. Art for 6 years, Lee Enjoys working with oil pastel and using other media to blend colours, transpose imagery and bring his own particular flavour to the artwork. He often calls in to the studio even on days when he is not enrolled and has developed friendships with many of the other student artists. He is often waiting outside the building half an hour early in anticipation of his class.

His work embraces a deep connection to nature and regularly features landscapes, seascapes and buildings. He has a profound association with written words, using them uniquely to express himself within many of his pictures. His technique in using oil pastel and graphite pencil has developed into a new form of communication for him.

Lee loves music and his work frequently includes several of his favourite bands and musicians. He is a well spring of knowledge regarding who pays which instrument in the arrangements and is himself a keen guitarist. Lee has recently become an Uncle for the first time and hopes to visit his tiny niece again soon.

Lee's work in this exhibition is titled “The Owl and the Flower” and can be seen representing our studio in the Southland Arts Festival catalogue. The work was inspired by a Southland Education drawing class when Lee happened to view some of the resources used to produce owl drawings. The Owl and the Flower uses space in a very interesting way, as the space around the subject is as important as the flower and owl themselves. It allows the viewer to engage with the foreground figure (the Owl) who curiously approaches the room. The ever watchful flower in the background gives the work a sense of distance..

Lee hopes to travel to Ireland, Cambodia and beyond.

Michelle Dawson, Co-Founder CS Arts

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the owl & the flower

By Lee Harland

It's a sunny day. The owl is next to the flower.

It sits on a tree branch and the winds getting up.

The wind is blowing a gale force wind and the owl is sleeping.

On the branch of a tree the flower is saying hello to the owl in the tree and talking about the day.

And they say looking at that person walk and they are laughing at people.

They are a nice colour. In the picture and they listen to some music in the tree and they are dancing in the tree.

They are eating bird-seed for tea. Working class owl too, he works hard at sleeping-in and they are getting wet from the rain. It’s thunder and lightning too and it’s like a stormy weather in one night.

They look like they are playing musical instruments that they are using to make really good music and a bit of Cold Chisel.

And they are having fun and they having a cup of tea and a bite to eat and they look really nice together and they are friends.

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student profile

Mike Hamill

Serving as a trustee for C.S. Art Charitable Trust, Mike is also a student within the studio. Encouraged to try his hand at different media, he has experimented with interesting materials and having had a connection with flax mills and sisal rope throughout his childhood, he has enjoyed working with the material to produce baskets and sisal rope vessels, one of which is on display.

Mike enjoys acrylic painting often choosing landscape or seascape as his subject. His paintings employ thick impasto to good effect, using the texture produced to describe rock and mountains.

Previously, Mike has had a long association with Southland R.D.A. also serving two terms as the Otago-Southland delegate to NZRDA. He went on to represent Southland in Para-Equestrian - both at South Island and National competitions.

He sees himself as an advocate for people living with disabilities and is himself a testimony to what can be achieved regardless of physical limitations.

When asked what his thoughts regarding C.S. Art were, Mike eloquently responded with the following quote:

" It's a safe place. I don't have to put up my shield. I come and learn and develop my art abilities. It's a place where I can come and learn at my own pace. I can be my true self. I can come in that door and go 'whew, I'm home'."

Michelle Dawson, Co-Founder CS Arts

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student profile

Dorne Kini

Ko Horohoroi I nga ringaringa a Kahumatamomoe te Maunga

Ko Pokaitu te Awa

Ko Te Arawa te Iwi

Ko Kearoa te Marae

Ko Ngati Kea Ngati Tuara nga hapu

Dorne began attending C.S. Art regularly as a student at Aurora College in 2012. When he completed his high school education he secured a placement within our studio and has been attending ever since. His happy disposition and focused work ethic make him an ideal student in our busy studio. Dorne’s creative interests are wide ranging and include a unique form of weaving in which the traditional techniques he learned alongside his mother at the Southern Institute of Technology’s Kawai Raupapa course are put to good use. He is unique within our studio as he is our only weaver.

His work in this exhibition is titled “Tumanako Whakapono Aroha” (translation – hope faith love), in which 3 woven kete are side by side, having been made from laminated strips of colorful magazines. They seem to await being filled by their namesakes in their beautiful quiet capacity for storage.

Dorne also has a huge talent for drawing, and often attends Southland Education’s drawing class where he has produced some incredible pencil and ink illustrations. Such is the level of his enthusiasm, he often arrives at 11am, when the class begins at 12.30. It is a privilege for us that he feels comfortable enough to visit on these occasions and will sit drawing quietly waiting for the class to begin.

He has also produced several various acrylic paintings which have been shown at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery as well as smaller shows at H & J Smith’s Copper Kettle Café.

Whanau is very important to Dorne and he is currently saving up to visit his older sister in the United Kingdom. He has another sister living in Invercargill who is mother to his niece. He often shares stories of his niece and his mum, proud of their many achievements in Tikanga Maori.

Michelle Dawson, Co-Founder CS Arts