By GUY WILLIAMS
A Queenstown artist’s been turning heads by displaying a different oil painting from his collection outside his Speargrass Flat Road gallery each day.
When the Covid-19 lockdown began, Thomas Brown (above) decided if passersby couldn’t come into his gallery, he would take his art outside.
The United States-born Kiwi, who’s lived in the Wakatipu with wife Elizabeth since 1973, says he’s enjoying the “new thought process” of deciding what’s topical on any given day.
All the paintings he’s chosen have picked up on the pandemic theme, depicting objects such as a roll of toilet paper – once coveted by panic buyers – and a cauliflower, for which some supermarkets were accused of price-gouging shoppers.
Wednesday’s work, of a group of Otago winemakers raising their glasses in a toast, celebrated Thursday’s move to Alert Level 2, which means social gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed.
Thursday’s painting, which he slaved away on to complete in time, showed Jacinda Ardern holding a bubble in each hand.
His works, which he paints in a 108-year-old former cheese factory next to his home, are held in private and corporate collections throughout the world.
He’s unsure when he’ll be able to reopen the gallery, so reckons he’ll keep putting the paintings outside for a while yet.
Brown says he’s missing the human contact with visitors and clients, but enjoying “getting a whole day without interruption”.