Artist residency provides focus


For Dunedin artist Jayne Tui Schwenke the experience of being artist in residence at the Otago Art Society was both highly social and a great chance to focus on her painting.

Home life is busy for the mother of three, so having seven straight days to concentrate uninterrupted (mostly) on painting was a rare treat.

“I haven’t been very active as an artist in recent years, with having small children, but now that the children are at school it seemed like a good time to have a go at being artist in residence,” Schwenke said.

Being on hand at the Otago Art Society’s galleries all last week had been “a great spot” for her, and she had encountered a constant stream of visitors.

“I have spent quite a lot of time talking to people, and have had my photo taken many times – it’s been fun,” she said.

“Mainly, it has been fantastic to be able to paint seven days in a row.”

Schwenke, who lives in Waldronville with scientist husband Daryl and their three children, paints landscapes of Dunedin and Otago, as well as Japanese-inspired works.

The couple have an affinity with Japan, having lived there for four years in earlier days, and returned to Dunedin in February after a six-month Japanese sojourn for the whole family.

“In some ways it was an art sabbatical for me, because when the children were at school I spent my time painting,” Schwenke said.

“I love the different, vibrant colours and culture of Japan.

“It makes a nice contrast with the landscapes I love and have tramped through in Dunedin,” she said.

An artist member of the Otago Art Society for the past 10 years, Schwenke – who exhibits under the name Tui Paintings – enjoys the camaraderie of the group, the support of fellow artists and the opportunity to take part in group exhibitions.

Jayne Tui Schwenke was the final artist in residence at the Otago Art Society galleries for the 2017-18 summer season.

The Hope & Sons Art Awards exhibition is set to start on April 14.