Saturday December 5th – Opening Hours 10am – 4pm

What’s On

The latest CAN News!



Original Paintings

Opening Friday 4 September at 5-7pm

AUCTION 5.30pm

This exciting fundraising event features the stunning original early work of Berlin artist Asgar Bozorgi. Originally from a private collection in New Zealand, it has been donated to CAN to raise funds for the arts centre and also the SPCA. This is a rare opportunity to own a beautiful piece of an international artist’s work, so come along to the celebratory opening on Friday 4 September, 5-7pm, enjoy the fun of the Auction and add your red dot to the gallery! All are welcome and light refreshments will be available.

We are delighted that Brayden Coldicott from Harcourts Napier has kindly agreed to be our Auctioneer. The Auction of seven large works will start at 5.30pm. The other eleven paintings will be priced to sell.

The large paintings are available to preview from Friday 28 August in the CAN Workshop.

Asgar Bozorgi is an Iranian artist, living in Berlin. He was born in Tabriz in Iran in 1954 and studied at the art school there. From 1983 until 1989 he studied painting at the University of Mimar Sinan Instanbul, Turkey. Since 1989 he has lived in Germany, originally in Heilbronn and since 1998 in Berlin.

All framed in white, the beautiful collection on display in the CAN Main Gallery comprises of 18 original contemporary abstract paintings varying in size but all containing vibrant fields of colour. As Bozorgi’s career progressed, it’s possible to see where these early works took him next.  However, although his later works have become more refined, all of his works convey emotion through a combination of color and light. The most important aspect is the play of the opposition between surface and depth, concealing and revealing, which is introduced by layers of paint and subtle forms that are visible through them. The images created by Bozorgi act on the principle of jagged, perforated “curtains”, they unblock the layers of the unconscious and reveal what is hidden in it.

The effect that the viewer encounters when looking at an abstract composition is the reverse of the creative process, the sequence from tracing the surface to plunging into the deeper layers of the work.

Although the influences of different cultures intersect in Asgar Bozorgi’s work, the artist is inspired mainly by expressive abstraction. He was born and raised in Iran, but after studying in Istanbul, he decided to move to Germany. The most important thing for him is the feeling of freedom, which is why he wanted to create in a democratic country that would guarantee him freedom of expression.

Art is a story for Asgar, and individual works of art are separate books that require careful reading. According to this definition, an image can be defined as encoded information about the way of perceiving typical for a given artist, an invitation to accept multiple perspectives and the ability to read the same phenomenon, situation, object, seen differently each time. In the light of this assumption, Bozorgi’s paintings are an encouragement to dialogue, an exercise in tolerance and openness to other ways of seeing.

Bozorgi is currently exhibiting at the Galeria BWA in Katowitz, Poland:

So, how is it that CAN has been bestowed this incredible gift?

The tale of how this collection of Iranian artist Asgar Bozorgi’s early work came to be donated to CAN to raise funds is a fascinating yarn. Tanja Blinkhorn brought the paintings to CAN, and told us the story:

Tanja’s mother’s name is Helga Blinkhorn and Tanja grew up in Heilbronn, Germany. Heilbronn is a small town between Stuttgart and Heidelberg in the south of Germany. In 1990 Tanja left Germany to travel to the Cook Islands and New Zealand. She was away for nearly a year. In this time frame her mother met Asgar.

Asgar had no money at the time, and with Tanja’s room being empty in their flat, her mother, Helga offered for him to stay there. He felt very obliged and as he had no money, he wanted to paint for Helga. He didn’t have enough money to buy the resources though, so she bought them for him. He painted and gifted her all the paintings in the collection at CAN to her, plus five others which the family have kept.

Helga left Germany in 1991 to move to Capetown in South Africa. This is the same year that Tanja moved to New Zealand. She took all the paintings with her to Capetown and lived there for ten years. She loved it there, but as South Africa was becoming more and more unsafe for her to live there, she explored the idea of moving to NZ. At this stage Tanja had become a NZ citizen and as her only child Helga received Permanent Residency and moved to Napier. She brought all the paintings with her.

In May 2020 Helga moved into a senior residency facility in Auckland and the family decided to donate the paintings to CAN, so they could stay in Napier. A sincere thank you to Helga and Tanja Blinkhorn for this generous act, that will allow local art appreciators to enjoy these works for many years to come.

All works are for sale. The profits will help CAN, a registered charity, to deliver on it’s mission purpose to the wider community: ‘The positive support, exploration and development of the Arts in Napier, resulting in the widest dynamic arts interaction with the Community, that significantly contributes to our local and regional arts scene.’ 

As per Helga’s request, a donation of $200 from the sale of the work will also be made to the Napier SPCA.

We look forward to seeing you there next Friday! (At Level 2, visitor numbers will be limited to 100, contact tracing and hygiene practices are in place as per government alert level guidelines).

Other News:

THANK YOU to the staff and students of the six Napier High Schools who took part in the currentYear 12 Art Expo’, on display until 3 September in the Main Gallery and Mezzanine. So much talent! If you haven’t seen this one yet, hot foot it down to catch it this weekend. It’s a Must-See!

On display from Friday 4 September you will find an exhibition entitled ‘Down the Coast’ by artist Julia Lynn in the Small Gallery. Julia’s paintings and photography are motivated by her love of nature and in particular the New Zealand landscape.

If you didn’t already know, CAN offers a wide variety of creative classes, both evening classes and weekend workshops. Coming up: Painting with Dali Susanto; Saturday 5 September (BOOK NOW to grab one of the last spots!) Harakeke Weaving with Lee Olsen; Saturday 12 September, Monoprinting with Angela Lalonde; Saturday 29 August. Call 06 835 9448 or email to check availability.

And… if you have creative kids and teens that need to get stuck in to some fun activities, check out all the options offered by the Pencil Room at CAN in the upcoming school holidays:

Lisa Feyen
Creative Arts Napier
16 Byron Street
PO Box 1083
Napier 4140
06 835 9448