Positive impression with feathers

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POSITIVE intentions and mathematical relationships are some of the factors in Opotiki artist Fiona Kerr Gedson’s current work.

Recognised nationally and internationally for her art, Fiona has specialised in creating intricate mandalas from the feathers of birds.
The art form has its origins in ancient Buddhism and, with her background in Maori weaving techniques, Fiona has added a distinctively New Zealand angle to the meditation practice.

“True to the aim of the mandala meditation traditions, the pieces are designed to help the viewer find a gap in the bustle of everyday life,” she says.

We caught up with Fiona as she was shipping one of her artworks as an entry to the Rotorua Art Awards.

Another of her pieces has been selected as a finalist in the Arts Gold Awards at the Russell Henderson Gallery in Alexandra. Fiona has also been chosen for a joint exhibition with Waikato-based artist Annemieke Farmilo in Queenstown during the upcoming holiday season.

Running from December 21 to January 11, the exhibition, called By Nature, will be displayed at Queenstown’s Artbay Gallery.

Artbay Gallery founder Pauline Bianchi says the two artists had been selected because of their “striking and uniquely New Zealand styles, which utilise raw, natural materials”.

Fiona’s artwork has undergone a shift over the past two years as she has brought geometry into her mandala work.

She says a radio interview with an Auckland urban regenerator – Ockham Residential’s Mark Todd – inspired her and added a new dimension to her mandalas.

“He is a mathematician who is using his thinking to create positive solutions and contributions to society,” she says. Mathematical thinking is a way of enhancing creativity, of problem-solving in real life situations – “fundamentally, maths is quality in relationships”.

With mandalas having been used as a meditation tool for a long time, she hopes her “geometrically-enhanced” mandala will further expand quality relationships and be positive contributions.



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