Painter’s southern debut

Prominent New Zealand contemporary painter Hope Gibbons this week launched her first South Island solo exhibition at the new Artbay Gallery in Queenstown’s Mountaineer building.

Running till next Saturday and entitled In The Moment, the showing features 25 new works said to push traditional boundaries through the use of paint, rust, inks, leaf and varnish.

Based in Matakana, north of Auckland, Gibbons has exhibited in the North Island for more than 10 years, while a number of her works are held in private collections worldwide.

Bridge battles begin

About 140 competitors per day are expected for the 2009 Queenstown Bridge Congress at the Events Centre from 7.30pm tomorrow to Monday afternoon.

Entrants are coming from around the country and a few top players from Australia will also attend, tournament committee member John Mitchell says.

“There’ll be some national title holders and reps so the standard is high.” Players will compete in open and junior/intermediate pairs and in team categories for various cash prizes and trophies.

Cave waiver aids Samoa

Gibbston Valley Wines is waiving its cave tour charge on Saturday and Sunday in return for gold coin donations to the Samoan tsunami relief fund.

About 30,000 people a year pay $10 a head for a 30-minute tour of the winery, vineyard and NZ’s largest wine cave, a maturation facility for the company’s pinot noir barrels.