Local artist Greg Hepworth is nothing short of a Taranaki treasure. He has spent time overseas in Australia studying art and living life. He returned to New Zealand for a working holiday in the South Island. Greg then travelled back north to Taranaki to help care for his mother during her last years of life. And now we have him back, at least for awhile.
Growing up here Greg was exposed to hiking and enjoying the outdoors. His mother would take all the siblings out for hikes in and around Taranaki. His appreciation and respect for the natural world was developed at a young age. In a way it explains why Greg’s works are nature based and associated with his childhood memories of Taranaki.
“The crossover between place, perception, and memory intrigues me. How we alter and construct our memories of a place or event, how a moment shared does not always produce the same memory and what we remember of a specific time and place can vary so widely.”
The exhibition ‘IMPURE: WORKS ON PAPER’ showcase Greg’s acrylic paintings using a mix of oil and acrylic technique. He loves using traditional techniques- but often uses them backwards. Rather than building from background to foreground – he does the opposite and then goes a little bit sideways. He admits that sometimes it works and sometimes not.
“My use of overlaying patterns and the areas of flat colour in these works is about the ease with which we irrevocably alter landscape, we’re selling the dream but how much can we indulge in profit and gain before we notice something is missing, lost or obscured.”
The patterns that Greg uses to layer over or through his landscapes come from traditional Nordic and more contemporary Celtic symbols. His interest in these cultures stem from a family tree that traces back to the vikings.
Most of the works in this exhibition were created with recycled materials. Greg has been playing around with watercolours since his mother passed and he inherited her watercolour supplies. He is enjoying experimenting.