Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 23 January 2009 Contents local feature
Sales of a quite different kind are taking
place from the Netherdale Red Deer Stud
complex these days.
Built by David and lynley Stevens 12 years
ago to cater for deer sales and equestrian
events, their shed is now home to their
daughter Tania and her husband alan
as far as sheds go, this is about as good
as it gets. There’s a fully self-contained
living quarters upstairs – now home to the
clarkes – and the function room downstairs
is housing Tania’s picture framing business
The art of Framing.
Farming might have been the drawcard to
entice the clarkes back south to Balfour but
it’s framing and Tania’s passion for art that
is playing a dominant part in their lives.
Tania decided on a career in art while at
Southland Girls’ High School. She set her
heart on studying in Italy and her dream
came true when, on a year-long school
exchange programme she was allowed to
swap lessons at her assigned high school
to do her studies at an art and restoration
university in Florence.
She returned to New Zealand and attended
the otago University School of Fine arts for
four years, emerging with a bachelor of fine
arts majoring in painting.
It was during her final year of study that she
stripped her work of colour and established
the style and technique that is now
The deer complex at David and
Lynley Stevens’ Netherdale Red
Deer Stud in Balfour has always
been a flash-looking sort of a
place – some might even say
a work of art. Now it’s a place
to bring, and see, works of art
thanks to the homecoming of
daughter Tania Clarke.
She specialises in black and
white figurative work in oil. Her
subjects are predominantly
children – usually
important part of
their childhood or
for their childhood –
however, the subject
not the key element
“It’s not so much the
child – it’s more the
said. “The work’s
after graduating she continued
to paint professionally and also
ran art galleries. She moved
from Dunedin to Timaru and
when an art gallery she had
helped to establish was being
sold she bought the framing
side of the business and
established The art of Framing.
When Tania and alan decided
to move back to Balfour, Tania
simply packed up her entire
business and relocated it – into
a large function room in her
parents’ deer complex that is
perfect for the job. She and
alan live upstairs, the framing
business is below and she still
gets time to paint. Her last exhibition
was a solo show in Dunedin in
october. It was the week of the
election and the economy scare
and buyers were noticeably absent.
For an artist who is used to sell-out
shows it was “quite a shock”.
However, she is realistic about the
commercial pressure facing all
business people, including artists. In
any case, most of the unsold pieces
from that exhibition have personal
significance so she is happy to retain
Tania’s style is engaging and – as her
past exhibitions have proven – very
marketable, but she has resisted any
temptation to turn to commissioned
work. That would involve a quantum
shift in focus from composition to
subject and, at the risk of sounding
pretentious, it’s not a compromise
she’s prepared to make.
Since relocating to Balfour in
august, Tania said word of mouth
had ensured The art of Framing had
got off to a good start. a computer
software program, called Frame
Smart, was proving very popular. It
allows customers to see what their
piece might look like with various
frames and mounts and made it
much easier, especially with large
art works, for people to make a final
Tania Clarke and one of her distinctive black and white figurative oil
paintings. This one is of her husband Alan as a child.
artfully in the frame
Tania Clarke at work in her framing
studio The Art of Framing, now operating
from her parents’ farm in Balfour.
23 January, 2009 | Page 13
tania also has a new project that
is doing well. Her new company,
tickled Pink, supplies children’s
face painting services at all
manner of events from birthday
parties to a and P Shows.
“alan thought I was mad –
absolutely mad,” she said.
But the idea had paid off, proving
to be both a good business move
and lots of fun.
and while face painting might not
seem a logical path for a serious
artist to follow, tania has no
problem with it at all.
“If you’ve got a creative streak
in you, you kind of run with
Links Archive Fiordland Advocate 16 January 2009 Fiordland Advocate 30 January 2009 Navigation Previous Page Next Page