Te Anau’s award-winning artist

Ruth Crouchley with her painting, The Legend of the Lake. PHOTO: Heidi Horton Photography

A Te Anau artist has triumphed over nine other entrants to win the Emerging Artist Award at the Riversdale Annual Mixed Media Exhibition.

The exhibition is being run at Riversdale Community Centre till Sunday (July 29) with a huge selection of guest artists getting to show their works to the Southland crowds. During the Opening Night Gala, Te Anau artist Ruth Crouchley was presented with the $1000 prize and Emerging Artist Award. There were 10 finalists picked for the award by judges Jim and Marcella Geddes from Eastern Southland Gallery.

Miss Crouchley, who won with her painting 'The Legend of the Lake', said she was pretty excited and ecstatic about being the award winner.

"It's quite an achievement."

She wasn't sure what she would spend the prize money on, but said it would help with the purchase of art materials.

"It's a really good boost; art materials are really expensive."

Miss Crouchley didn't record how long the piece took to complete but said it was "well over a week, quite a long time".

"It all depends on size and what materials I'm using."

After noticing an interest in arts during her high school years, Miss Crouchley took art-based subjects in her final year of college before taking a gap year. From there she ended up at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland but decided to come back to Te Anau where she has been working ever since.

"Living in Fiordland really inspires me a lot. I'm really into painting natural things," she said.

She was also looking to paint subjects that looked really nice but also had more of a significant meaning behind them, she said.

As well as painting, Miss Crouchley is doing a lot of work with carving on boards and using paint with them while continuing to produce works for galleries. 

"At the moment I'm working on five pieces for a gallery opening in Invercargill."

For those interested in seeing more of Miss Crouchley's work you can visit her Instagram page 'Ruth Crouchley Art'.


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