Shirley de Luca

A micro-exhibition of recent work

Date: May 1 – May 31Space: Foyer

During the month of May, Shirley de Luca’s vibrant and dynamic paintings will be on display in the CAN foyer.

Originally from Hamilton of farming parents and the eldest of five children, Shirley De Luca’s favourite childhood pastime was to draw.  School and the need for her to work on the farm with her father who was unwell left little time to pursue this passion, however every spare minute was spent drawing or reading.

The farmer’s daughter eventually married a farmer, enjoyed the country life, but also worked in the city as a legal secretary for many years.

Twenty years ago, Shirley’s life took a different direction when she moved to beautiful Napier to be closer to her daughter.  They opened De Luca’s Espresso and for five years delighted Napierites and visitors with their healthy, tasty food and excellent coffee.  The cafe is still talked about today and they still occasionally get asked for recipes!

Since retiring Shirley has had the time to renew her childhood passion, and has progressed from pencil to paintbrush.  As her name suggests, Shirley’s ancestral roots are in Sicily. in particular its windswept, volcanic Aeolian islands.  She is greatly inspired by their raw beauty, history and their feeling of having existed forever.  She has visited these islands and other parts of Europe and loves the play of sunlight and shadow on the landscape of ancient cities, and their splendid architecture.

Shirley is tutored by Helen Dynes who’s weekly classes are held at the CAN. At CAN Shirley finds there is also inspiration to be found amongst the beautiful artworks.  At the moment she is painting with acrylic with some collage, but also enjoys oils;

“It is a pleasure to paint in my Napier hill cottage from where I see a large expanse of sky, houses and hillside and many trees and a pocket handkerchief view of the sea.”


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