Art delivers on mail

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“As a child growing up in rural New Zealand I remember the huge, rustic, metal mailboxes before the cattle stop at the front gate of the wild and beautiful Taranaki farms of my grandparents.”
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Such memories and more inspired Tamahere woman Jenny Scown to stage the latest exhibition, Rural Delivery, at her Inspirit Studio and Gallery, from June 2.

“The concept for the exhibition was in part inspired by my own rural background and the book ‘It’s in the post’ – the stories behind New Zealand stamps, by Richard Wolfe,” says Scown.

“The mail, daily newspaper, fresh bread wrapped in paper, and milk were all delivered to my grandparents’ rural mail box and were a vital part of everyday life and a connection with the outside world.

“I also went on the cream run many years ago as a photo-journalist, helping deliver mail and supplies by boat to islands in the Hauraki Gulf. It was a most memorable trip – everyone was very pleased to see you. The mail and supplies provided a life line.”

NZ Post’s rural delivery service has been carried out by plane, boat, bike, horse and foot to the far flung reaches of New Zealand.

The exhibition, which coincides with the June 12 to 15 National Agricultural Fieldays, across the Waikato River from Inspirit Gallery, will acknowledge the value of the service that has got the mail and key supplies through to the most remote places.

Highly regarded local and national artists and designers, working in a diverse variety of media, have combined to celebrate the historic and current role of NZ Post’s rural delivery service by paying tribute to those who have worked hard to get the mail safely through. They also pay homage to the often undervalued art captured by stamps, the quirky and innovative rural mailboxes and the dying art of letter writing.

Featured artists are Paul Herbert, Jane Blackmore, Rachel Olsen, Jenny Scown, Sue Roots, Kate Hill, Adrian Worsley, Chris Meek, Richard MacDonald, Kylie Law, Robin Cuff, Veronica Young, Aaron Scythe, Jeff Thomson, Jane Siddall, Faith Thomas, Jo Wilson, Dawn Hansen, Ciane Lawrey-Ginger, Angie Dennis, Marti Wong, Pauline Jamieson, Claire Hey, Liz McAuliffe, Michael Barker and Grant Henderson.

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