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Alan Waters: Final Retrospective Exhibition

Alan Waters profile pic

Alan Waters, best known for his unusual watercolour paintings, will hold a final retrospective exhibition in Queenstown this month.

The Bannockburn-based artist has painted full time for more than 35 years, but due to the onset of Parkinson’s
disease, he’ll no longer produce new works for exhibition.
Alan’s artworks are held in private collections around the world, he’s won multiple awards and has been the subject of documentaries and magazine articles
around the world.

He says neither of his parents were artistic, but he knew from an early age that he loved to create.

“I wasn’t conscious of wanting to be an artist by age 5 or 4 or 10. But I had a moment. At Otago Polytechnic (Fine and Applied Arts, ’71 – ’73), I did a
course and it didn’t help me, but what it did was set my sights on a career – though I never thought about it in that manner.”

Alan worked as a furniture-maker and a toy designer – and even created highly collectable miniature furniture – before turning to watercolour

He says he loves watercolour for its “Transparency and flexibility. From light, right through to dark, dark, dark, dark. You’ve got more options than pastels
or crayons or pencils.”

Alan Waters

His unusual technique is more bold and defined than the traditional, loose, watercolour painting style. But it’s his ‘element of the unexpected’ that sets his work apart from others’.

Musical notes spill from a hand, a short-sighted farmer sends his dog to chase woolly clouds and a grasshopper plays the piano… Alan Water’s artworks
are vivid, unusual and invite a second (and third) look.

“Ideas will come to you,” he explains. “You leave the ideas alone, they’ll come to you when they’re ready.”

He talks about finding an autumn leaf at a friend’s house in Quail Rise, Queenstown.

“It was autumn and the wind was blowing the leaves everywhere they were pffft! all over the place. And suddenly, ding! I found this one leaf and I had
an idea in my head.”

The resulting painting is a child swaddled inside a brown autumn leaf, the child represents his daughter. Another favourite painting is a still life
depicting a bowl of lemons – a wedding gift to his wife, Chris, who loves the colour yellow.

A wide range of Alan’s works will be for sale at the retrospective exhibition. Others will show how his work has changed over the years – from miniature furniture to small sculptures and then to large watercolours that are best enjoyed with a good sense of humour.

Alan Waters music

Opening Night Preview: Saturday 19th December - 5pm
Runs until: 10th January 2021
Queenstown Contemporary Gallery - Five Mile