Forty years ago Dennis Green and Clayton Gibson had their first exhibition together. Their work was exhibited in Square Edge Community Arts Centre in Palmerston North where they were both first year teacher’s college students.

Square Edge 2 is their second exhibition together and this has given the artists not only the opportunity to exhibit together again, but also to rekindle an old friendship that goes right back to their extension art class at Ilminster Intermediate in Gisborne.

Clayton Gibson is originally from Gisborne and now lives in Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay. Since moving to the Hawke’s Bay, he’s exhibited work in Art Feast, the Norsewear Art Awards, Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition and at the Community Art Centres in Hastings and Napier. He is currently the curator at the Hastings City Art Gallery.

He works predominately as a sculptor, using recycled totara posts and found logs off the beach and this forms the basis of most of his work. Over the last two years he’s got back into painting and this exhibition has been the opportunity to experiment with his painting style.

Clayton is painting a series of paintings that depict a variety of events in our history and incorporated within each painting are poems and rhyming verse that will provide a cue for the viewer to connect with the historical events depicted.

He has been a teacher both in primary and secondary schools for over 33 years, more recently at Taikura Rudolf Steiner School in Hastings and has been an advocate for the teaching of New Zealand history over all of that time. 

The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa currently being updated is really important to him. “The curriculum changes are coming into effect in 2022 and it makes learning New Zealand’s histories explicit,” he says, “so that all learners and ākonga are provided with opportunities to learn about the events that have shaped our nation and the different perspectives New Zealanders have of these events. 

“Children learn in different ways depending on their learning style and temperament but also depends on the developmental stage they are going through. For some students, learning through visual images is important and for other student’s learning is supported by memorising repetitive, rhyming poems.”

The paintings exhibited in this exhibition are just the beginning of a series based around this theme.

Dennis Green is a part time archaeologist and part time artist who lives in Hamilton and has one painting included in the exhibition.

Dr Dennis Green has a PHD in religious studies and was a lecturer at Waikato University for a number of years in this subject. He now works on archaeological digs around the country and before Covid, worked on a number of digs in Israel. He is one of NZs leading authorities on Dead Sea Scrolls.

Square Edges is showing in the small gallery at CAN (Creative Arts Napier) in Byron Street, Napier. Both artists will be present for the opening of their exhibition on Saturday 14 August at 5.30pm. 

All welcome! Light refreshments will be served.

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