Poems inspire chair artworks

Poetic licence . . . Dunedin artist Sheryl McCammon (left) and Resene staff member Kelly Hyslop were among dozens of Dunedin artists inspired to create poem chairs in the Love Waltz with Fireworks project. The three chairs highlighted are (from left) McCammon's response to the poem Eggs, Hyslop's response to the poem Paper Wings and Pauline Bellamy's response to the poem Small Stanzas in Autumn. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

The humble kitchen or backyard chair has become the canvas for 40 glorious artworks by dozens of Dunedin artists.

The artists were responding to the poem they chose from a selection of nine in a clever fundraising concept devised by Ruth Arnison, of Dunedin creative project Poems in the Waiting Room.

Entitled “Love Waltz with Fireworks” – the title of one of the featured poems – the concept inspired artists to create some extraordinary pieces, Ms Arnison said.

“We gave the artists free rein to respond to the poems as they wished, and the results were fantastic,” she said.

The poems highlighted in the project were Love Waltz with Fireworks, by Kelli Russell Agodon; Giverny in Autumn, by Harvey McQueen; Digging, by Edward Thomas; Penguins, by Fiona Farrell; Small Stanzas in Autumn, by Barbara Crooker; My Gran, by Moira Andrew; Paper Wings, by Claire Orchard; Eggs, by Claire Beynon; and A Country Tea, by Jan Hutchinson.

The project has been supported by the Dunedin branch of Resene, which provided each artist with five test pots of paint to use on their chairs.

Resene Dunedin manager Phil Yates said he was “impressed” with the chair-based works.

“They are looking great,” he said.

The decorated chairs will be displayed at Resene, 172 Crawford St, until they are sold at an on-site ‘chair-ity” auction on Sunday, October 15 at 2pm. Funds raised go to support the Poems in the Waiting Room project.