Paintings, fashion inspired by landforms

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Otematata is going arty this summer.
Its community centre is hosting an exhibition of paintings by former Waimate woman Maree White and fashion pieces from the Lida label created by her niece Naomi White.
Maree White, a professional artist for more than 20 years, has been working with the Otematata Residents Association to stage the exhibition from Boxing Day to January 8. Both her paintings and the fashion pieces have been inspired by local landforms.
White says although she now lives in Whakatane, her heart is still in the South Island landscape. By the age of 10 she knew she wanted to be an artist, funding future works from her first exhibition of oil paintings in 1975.
She was commissioned to paint murals in Waimate in her 20s, having adorned her adopted town of Reefton. She also decorated South Canterbury restaurants and night clubs, plus Christchurch and Queenstown premises.
White has held solo exhibitions in the Mackenzie district, Canterbury, Southland, Dunedin, Hawkes Bay, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. She teaches adults to paint, and is a folk musician.
Some of the works being shown in Otematata are views from the Otematata Wetland Walkway from Loch Laird alongside Lake Aviemore. The residents’ association has developed it in the past 10 years, based on plans drawn up by landscape architect Anne Steven with a Meridian Energy Waitaki Community
Fund grant. Part of the walkway is now shared with the Alps to Ocean cycle trail.
White said her niece’s latest fashion collection was influenced by childhood holidays at Otematata and the Waitaki lakes. Her niece designed the fabrics as well as the styles.
Their exhibition will be open daily from 10am to 5pm, with 25% of all painting sales donated to the Otematata Residents Association’s continued work on the wetland walkway. The Lida label will also contribute to that cause.