5 minutes with artist Heather Straka
Heather Straka is tickled by the irony of being isolated in Auckland and unable to attend her own Isolation Hotel exhibition in Christchurch. ...
From his studio in Wellington, Bruce Mortimer produces excellent artworks in many different styles, from fine art photography to expressionistic paintings. He paints us a picture of his life as he prepares for the 2022 Christchurch Art Show.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Third Culture kid, creative from a young age, and a fine art photographer for much of my adult life before rediscovering traditional mediums. Ambidextrous, multilingual and difficult to categorize, I am no more an artist than I am the other pursuits that I have. I am an explorer and adventurer by nature, I renovate my own property, I play and listen to music, I have some enthusiasm for vehicles and mechanics, I am innovative, an athlete and I am interested in psychology. I trained as an earth scientist. I've left some stuff out because I get overwhelmed, let alone anyone else reading this.
What kind of art do you create? Hopefully art that has meaning, and that has impact when displayed.
What would you like people to take away from your art? Having created both finely detailed photorealistic work as well as very loose expressionistic pieces I would like the audience to lose any preconceived idea they may have that it matters how long it takes to create an artwork, or that that should somehow be linked to value. In fact, for the latter it's often an inverse relationship, which most people, perhaps a lot of artists included, don't seem to understand.
What are you planning to display at the Art Show? A single series of works, despite being a multiple-medium artist working in various styles. Loose landscape expressionism in subtle colours might describe them.
What do you like about meeting the public at the show? For an introvert such as myself with some extrovert tendencies, I like the temporary interactions that each meeting provides, and that art can be a trigger for sharing and exchanging views that go well beyond the obvious.
Are there any artistic media you haven’t yet dabbled in, that you’re dying to try? If and when I get a strong urge to dabble in something new, I dabble immediately. This happens fairly regularly, and not just with art. So as we speak no, there aren't, but next week you might see something new from me.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received? None of it is quantifiable as better or worse than any other advice. Advice is just a by-product of interacting with others who have experiences different to you, but nothing beats finding your own way. Also, receiving advice is quite unrelated to following it. There are people I know that inspire me to do the opposite of what they do. So I take advice from people just by listening to their own path and seeing how that fits in with mine, and then I go on an adventure.
What are you watching at the moment? Every evening for the last few weeks, we've watched an episode of The Chase. It is a program that allows all four of us in my family currently living together to interact and discuss things while it's on. So it's about engagement with the content, a bit like you want art to be for an audience.
How do you relax? I generally run as far and as fast as I can within an allotted time.
Tell us a secret about yourself. No, obviously.
Who’s another artist you’d like to shout out to? Not one in particular. It's tough to single people out when there are many who I appreciate and then only connect with them sporadically at shows. My major influences are international artists that don't feature in our shows, and whose work might be very different to mine but something about their ethics, or the scale they work at, or their apparent courage resonates with me. They might be visual artists, or performing artists, or musicians.
What’s next for you after the Art Show? Heading back home to prepare for the next event, via what I'm sure will be a long and winding route, looking for landscapes to photograph and enjoying every kilometre in the company of ever-changing scenery.
See Bruce's work at the Christchurch Art Show
Te Pae Convention Centre
Friday 24 - Monday 27 June