Kath Wood, who studied at The Learning Connexion after receiving an Oriel Hoskin Scholarship, was awarded at Auckland’s Upstairs Gallery Emerging Artist Awards recently.
Kath was the winner of the Doug Robertson Award for her ceramic, bisque fired and hand coloured sculpture Pecked Dry.
A very emotional and beautiful piece, Kath describes her sculpture: “Hollowed out and pecked dry, yet the gold remains. Pecked Dry depicts a woman, broken and empty after a harrowing ordeal. Grief and suffering are discernible from her bowed head to her uneasy toes. It is the gold within that we need to acknowledge and listen to.”
“I experienced feeling utterly pecked dry and hollowed out when my beautiful 16-year-old son Zander, died of leukaemia,” says Kath. “I had to hold tight and learn to bear the crushing grief. What made it endurable was to listen to my intuition; my gold within. This eventually led me to explore art seriously.”
She says Pecked Dry happened spontaneously one day when she was sculpting a figure that she had been working on for months.
“I had a sudden urge to depict that empty hollowed-out feeling. It is my wish that Pecked Dry resonates with those who may be experiencing similar feelings and remind them of their innate preciousness; the gold that remains.”
The sculpture had its genesis earlier in 2019 at a weekend class at The Learning Connexion with expert tutor Sarah Brock.
Pecked Dry is being exhibited along with 14 other finalists at Upstairs Gallery, Titirangi Village in Auckland, until 6 October. The theme of the exhibition is "Listen" with respect to raising understanding and awareness around mental health.
Kath began study at The Learning Connexion in 2017 after being awarded the Oriel Hoskin Scholarship. "The Learning Connexion has provided me excellent opportunities to develop my creative practice and learn new skills across different media," says Kath.
Kath completed her New Zealand Diploma in Creativity (Level 5) at TLC in June this year, after studying part-time.
Kath sharing a hug from Upstairs Gallery manager Sammy Milne at the Emerging Artist Awards. Photo credit: Tatiana Harper Photography