Variations on a steampunk theme

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Materials ranging from wire to tape to muslin have been pressed into service for Trish Shirley’s latest exhibition.
The Oamaru artist’s works occupy a room on the Forrester Gallery’s ground floor. She was invited by gallery director Jane Macknight to show a selection there, its opening coinciding with the 2017 Steampunk NZ Festival. Shirley has contributed to previous steampunk exhibitions as well as holding solo
exhibitions there.
Mirror Worlds features a series of collage/paintings and four sculptures. Most of the paintings depict steampunk characters bordered by decorative arches or brackets, embellished with keys, shells, butterflies, pocket-watches and other paraphernalia.
Several of the larger works have smaller “side paintings” emanating from them, highlighting details. They are accompanied by “narratives”, which Shirley urges visitors to read. In steampunk tradition, they present the story behind the characters.
The collages include “a lot of different art papers of different thicknesses. Some get stretched. It’s a bit of an unholy mixture”.
Shirley draws the pictures herself then puts them through a printer and scanner.