Dragonfly detail, Andrew Bellringer $3250
24 January – 16 February, 2020
A father/daughter combo features in the latest exhibition at Percy Thomson Gallery. ‘Bellringer Bellringer WharehokaSmith’ brings together father Andrew Bellringer, daughter Kenzie Bellringer and family friend WharehokaSmith.
WharehokaSmith was visiting metal artist mate Andrew and spied a collection of painted car bonnets, by Kenzie, sitting in the shed.
WharehokaSmith was so impressed he suggested that he, Kenzie and Andrew join together for an exhibition.
Kenzie, a keen Demolition Derby driver and auto car painter, decorated her car bonnets for every derby.
“I have a keen interest in all kinds of art, and in my teenage years I started playing around with stencils and spray cans, inspired by my high school art teacher. When I started competing in Demolition Derbys, at the age of 17, I used my cars as my canvas and had just as much fun painting the bonnets as I did smashing them on the speedway track.”
After high school Kenzie became a qualified automotive painter and has been working in this industry on and off for almost 10 years.
“Derby cars are my outlet for fun, combining art and adrenalin,” she says.
Father Andrew has been working with metal all his working life and eight years ago he designed and made a garden sculpture for a friend’s birthday.
“It was large lizard made from old chain I had lying around the workshop. One thing led to another and more sculptures from recycled metal were created.”
Four years ago Andrew was commissioned to make a Dragonfly sculpture for Pukeiti Gardens. He has now made six sculptures for the iconic garden, one in collaboration with WharehokaSmith.
Local artist WharehokaSmith demonstrates a progressive aptitude toward Toi Māori, constantly evolving well-practised ideas. He looks to the vast historical catalogue of customary Mahi Toi as the critical resource for his practice.
‘Without doubt these historical Taonga and the customary practices which have influenced their creation are an historical confirmation which support a methodology to shape and re-shape, bond and re-bond, perceived traditions, ancient designs shapes and forms, new tool and media... to record information, tell stories, inspire imagination, entertain, remain and be relevant, grow learn enquire inspire, be inspired, be humble, maintain the mana of our Toi.’