Scown on living life artfully


Jenny Scown, artist and curator of Tamahere’s Inspirit Gallery, reveals her passion for art – and more – in 20 questions.

Jenny Scown with Happy Days artworks

The Pencarrow Rd gallery is exhibiting the Happy Days Mixed Media exhibition until April 3 featuring works by Scown, Daniel Kirsch, Carole Shepheard, Stuart MacKenzie, Jane Galloway, Chris Meek, Veronica Young, Jo Wilson and Adrian Worsley. That’s enough to keep Scown awake at night but there’s another reason, too, she told the Waikato Times your weekend magazine.

What keeps you awake at night?
Possums on the roof and an overloaded brain, especially before big opening previews of exhibitions like the Happy Days Mixed Media exhibition.

What’s your earliest memory?
Exploring my grandparents’ Taranaki country homestead when I was about three. It was like a maze with endless doors and my favourite place was the sunroom. I still love sunrooms and cosy corners.

Who is your hero?
My dad for always being so loyal, loving, passing on good values and giving the world’s best hugs.

What are your strengths?
I have a good eye, strong imagination and a positive nature.

And your weaknesses?
I am sometimes easily distracted and need to really focus and get my priorities right. Deadlines help me to get organised.

What would you most like to change about yourself?
I would like to work less, have more fun and spend more quality time with friends and family.

What’s the best thing about running an art gallery?
Working with talented artists, sharing their creative journey and being surrounded by fabulous, changing art and design.

If you could fill your home with one person’s art, whose would it be?
It would be several artists, not just one. Santie English, Rachel Olsen, Joan Fear, Chris meek and Veronica Young – all New Zealand artists.

What’s on your bedside table?
[The book] Lola’s Secret, pint glass of water, notebook and mobile phone.

What was the last text or Tweet you sent?
Great xx

Do you have a nickname?
As a teenager living in America, my nickname was Kiwi Bird.

What music would play in a film about your life?
A combination of music by Joe Cocker, Bette Midler, Van Morrison, U2 and Joan Armatrading.

What’s the first record/album you ever bought?
Bette Midler’s The Rose recorded from live concerts in 1978.

What would you sing at karaoke?
When a Man Loves a Woman – the Bette Midler version. Who could not love Bette?

What do you spend money on?

Art and design, collectibles, good food and my boys.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Good coffee made with passion and fine Marlborough sav. Life is too short for bad coffee and cheap wine.

To whom do you owe an apology?
I am a visual person and remember people’s faces but sometimes forget their names. Sorry, don’t take it personally.

What are you most afraid of?
Not realising my potential and something happening to my loved ones.

What is your favourite food?
Organic, free-range chicken.

What’s your pet hate?

The lack of funding and support for the arts and culture of our beautiful region. We have the potential to be the Nelson of the north if we change our attitude and choose to see the talent all around us.

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