Maxwell at home with exhibition

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Artist Heather Maxwell has returned to Dunedin to present an exhibition of current and retrospective works at the Otago Art Society.

Born in Dunedin and an active member of the city’s visual arts scene for decades, Maxwell moved to Christchurch 10 years ago to be close to family.

Maxwell’s style as an artist has long been influenced by the dramatic topography of the Otago coastal region.

Largely self-taught, she gained experience in oil and watercolour painting with the support of tutors such as Graham Sydney, Els Noordhof, John Coley, Doris Lusk and Marilyn Webb.

The success of her book of more than 50 drawings and sketches, entitled Balclutha to Molyneux Bay, in 1980, gave Maxwell the incentive to try print-making.

She has since created etchings depicting the coastal environment from Otago Peninsula to Stewart Island, along with oil paintings and prints highlighting the dramatic effect of New Zealand light on land and sea.

Maxwell has been an exhibiting artist for many years, and her works are held in collections in New Zealand, Austria, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and Switzerland.

An original print of Maxwell’s recent work, Views of Otago Harbour, was presented to the Mayor of Otaru, Dunedin’s sister city in Japan, as a gift from Dunedin.

This was done during the visit of a Dunedin delegation in 2004, of which Maxwell was part.

Maxwell’s exhibition, entitled “Land, Sea and Skies” is on display at the Otago Art Society, Dunedin Railway Station, until March 8.