‘Rekree8Art’ Alice Waihape Exhibition
Eclectic and colourful found object work
Date: Aug 18 – Sep 1Space: Small Gallery
I thrive on change and challenge myself and the canvas I work on. This is probably the reason why I have days where nothing comes to mind when I paint on my canvases. The outcome is usually surprising and eccentric to say the least.
My colour range is bold and sceptical to the eye at first glance as I do not like to hold back with my creations. A preference of canvases is mannequins as the smooth contours can come to life once the brush goes down.
I don’t have a label or preference to my pieces as each one is different, this keeps my attitude alive with the brushes and acrylics I use.
Read about Alice’s Work in this article in the NZ Herald from May 2022.
There’s a new art gallery in Waipukurau and it’s causing people to stop, take a step back and look again.
Rekree8art has taken over a small shop next to the ANZ Bank in Ruataniwa St, filling it with colour and creativity in many different shapes and forms.
It’s largely the work of Alice Waihape, a Porangahau-raised artist recently returned from Australia, who has brought the exhibition to life over the space of eight months.
Alice moved back to Central Hawke’s Bay from Cairns just a year ago. There, she was working as a mine-site village manager, creating her art in her spare time.
Here she is a fulltime artist, having decided “If I don’t do it now I might never do it.”
“I have worked for someone else for too long. It’s my time now.”
Alice has always created art, but found that moving home gave her time to focus. She’s self taught and says “you learn by your mistakes – and if something doesn’t work out you just change it.”
Her style is eclectic and surprising; acrylic paint on found objects, painting, sculpting, copper wire work. She doesn’t like to label what she does.
“I like change, otherwise I’d get bored. I never know what a piece is going to be until I start … it’s whatever happens on the day. Sometimes I sit in my workshop and nothing comes, other days the paint just goes flying.”
In her shop, Alice’s artwork covers everything from old wood saws to papier mache figures, musical instruments, deer antlers and ceramic pots. Even the chair she sits on behind her desk – fashioned from retro suitcases – is beautifully painted.She has a particular fondness for shop mannequins which she buys and embellishes with paint, copper wire and smaller found objects.“It’s becoming harder to get the full mannequins, the older ones with expressive faces. I often look at them and wonder ‘what shop were you in. What clothes did you wear’?”
The mannequins are named … Valhalla, after a long-defunct Hastings nightclub; Galaxy for the stars that adorn her; Steampunk; Retro; The Hunter. They are individual, unique and skilfully wrought.
While Alice’s work is sparking curiosity – “and maybe a little confusion” – in Waipukurau’s pedestrian traffic, she believes a lot of people have creativity they haven’t explored. She says they shouldn’t be afraid to.
“When you put it out there it puts a big smile on your face. It does to me anyway.”