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Adria Painting

Trade Me Auction Fundraiser

Adria, by Donna Demente, her latest masterpiece painted for the Oamaru Penny Farthing and Vintage Cycle Tour.

This is to raise money for this years tour. 

A gorgeous colourful painting in an ornate gold coloured frame. 
Dimensions 880mm x 1180mm including the frame. 
A must have for the discerning art collector.

Fundraising for the Penny Farthing and Vintage Cycle Tour 2012 - Riverton to Arrowtown. Penny Farthing riders

trademe auction link

Timaru herald link

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The Grainstore Gallery
Historic Precinct
(Entrance off Harbour Street or Tyne Street)
New Zealand

0064 3 4348117

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Donna Demente is an artist who lives her life as art itself. After two years studying at Elam, Demente chose to pursue her creative development in the South Island, moving first to Dunedin and then settling in the creative community of Oamaru.  Here she embarked on a role of actively reviving the civic culture of this historic town.

Demente established the annual mid-winter masquerade and set up the Whitestone Artists' Collective and Grainstore Gallery. Even her home environment has been described as a mix of drama, pre-Raphaelitism, taxidermy and metaphysics Like her cultural activities, Demente's art finds expression across a range of forms and mediums. Always conveying an affinity with the past, Demente has become renowned for her close-up portraiture with a predominant focus on the eyes.  The eyes are the artist's signature motif, playing the role of guardian looking over the viewer.  Never specific yet full of individual character, the eyes not only create an interaction between the art and the viewer but a dialogue between the works themselves. Donna's eyes are always distinctive, yet they exude a sense of the familiar. Aspects of the Byzantine and elements of Renaissance classicism are clear, for this is an artist who wears her artistic influences on her sleeve.  Demente's work is also firmly placed in the present however with her flattened picture plane and isolation of the face - whether that is in painted form, her Venetian style paper-mache masks or her exquisitely painted ostrich eggs.  Demente's assiduous research is overt, but her art is never an exercise in imitation or pastiche.

Demente draws her influences heavily from pre-20th Century European art, from a time before art became an individualist critique of society.  The artists and art movements that influenced Demente all played an integral part in their society, a goal she strives to achieve in her own practice.

Rosalind Middleton

These works represent my further exploration of 'The Gaze' and its prominence in Art History, particularly European Religious art's myriad portrayals of saints and matyrs replete with aloof serenity, graceful allure and longing distraction.  Such imagery resonates through modern visual media and advertising, playing upon recognition of emotion and the viewer's inevitable response.  Curious parallels can be drawn with the cryptic, theatrical pose and pageantry of mask and masquerade, guise and disguise.

Many of my works are derived from drawings and photographs of the faces of marble and bronze statuary from art museums I have visited in North America, Britain and Europe. Adding layers of subtle expression and sometimes brutal distortion to hitherto frozen features much like painting a blank mask.  I am also interested in the canvas as skin, the face a shroud, torn off and reapplied.  All these characters inhabit the world between the fall of the chaste yet alluring veil and the donning of a grotesque mask, which disturbs yet invites us to the carnival....

Donna Demente

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