Clay and wire are two of Waikaia artist Annie Bourque’s favourite things.
Bourque is one of the guest artists at this year’s ‘‘Waimumu Arts Exhibition’’.
The exhibition is held every year at the start of Mother’s Day weekend and attracts artists — new, emerging and established — from throughout New Zealand.
It is the 12th year the event has been held.
This year’s theme was Fiesta, which was inspired by Bourque’s work.
Her entries were Mexican-style candelabra made with white earthenware clay and painted and sculptures made of wire.
Both materials were similar to items that were common in her rural upbringing, Bourque said.
She enjoyed the tactile experience of working with mud and clay and had done so since she was a child.
‘‘I’ll be mucking with clay when I’m 98.’’
The candelabra were time-consuming and not easy to make.
The clay was fine and had to be dried slowly.
‘‘You’ve got to take your time making it which is also lovely in this day and age when our lives get a bit busy.’’
Like the Mexican candelabra, hers had symbols painted on both sides reflecting both the darker and lighter sides of life.
She tended to choose her own symbols which reflected her rural outlook.
‘‘They are pretty whimsical and they are a bit of fun.’’
Mexicans gave the candelabra as presents for weddings and other celebrations.
The wire she had picked up before the family farm was stripped for gold mining.
She really enjoyed exhibiting at Waimumu.
‘‘What the girls do here is phenomenal.’’
The other guest artist was Lynn Grace of Invercargill.
Exhibition organiser Debbie Smith said the exhibition had gone very well, with a sellout crowd on opening night.
‘‘The feedback’s been amazing.’’