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Artist Jan Linklater at work. Photo: SUPPLIED

From zoologist to artist

The first of Thames Art Gallery’s featured artists for February is Jan Linklater.
Jan’s beginnings were in England where she trained as a zoologist and biochemist before attending art school later in life where she developed as a water-colourist.
After emigrating to New Zealand, Jan found that the drier climate and strong light favoured the use of acrylics, which emphasised the forms and patterns of the landscape.
Jan finds her “springboard” and inspiration comes from the waterways and foliage on her walks around the Coromandel and the subtle colours of the saltmarshes at Miranda and Pauanui. As well as landscapes, Jan loves life drawing and seeks to capture body language, mood and the pattern of the pose, often using her “long-suffering” family as models.
At the End of the Day is a recent work based on a moment with her sister – in it Jan sought to simplify and use strong colours to dramatise the pose. The use of black intrigued her and the enclosure by the chair created an atmosphere of calm.
Jan’s admiration for artists Matisse, Hockney and Katz are reflected in her work, and like David Hockney, her favourite colours of magenta, pacific blue, orange and turquoise are often featured in her endeavour to enhance reality and to give excitement and joy to all.

Jan also offers prints of her paintings in card form which also can be purchased from Thames Art Gallery.
Leigh Matthew will also be exhibiting his carving and ceramics work in February at the gallery.
He has had many years of wood carving experience using traditional methods. His main inspiration comes from primitive art from Polynesian and Scandinavian origins, some more recently with a modern twist. He enjoys creating one-off art works, mainly from Kauri and other native woods.
Leigh gained his skills in ceramics at the Studio Potters in Onehunga where he was a member for a number of years. Using stoneware clay, he constructs slab built sculptures, many hand carved with intricate patterns.
His glazes contain high amounts of metal oxides in order to produce natural organic and weathered looks. One of Leigh’s sculptures was purchased by Manukau Council for their art collection.
Leigh has recently moved to Thames and since joining the very vibrant people at Thames Art Gallery, along with the ever changing colours and formations of the firth, mudflats, natural resources, ancient Kauri and walks through the local bush, his enthusiasm for his arts has beenregenerated.
DETAILS: Thames Art Gallery, 604 Tararu Rd. Open weekdays: 10am-2pm,weekends: 10am-4pm.