Vivian McKenna

Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts takes pleasure in hosting Palmerston North artist Vivian McKenna’s second solo exhibition of unique pen and ink drawings. Viv’s artwork has graced the walls and print bins of the gallery for several years and proven to be very collectable. The title of the exhibition is reference to the vast array of animal life that she has depicted in her drawings. More than 30 framed works will be shown in the exhibition.

With the development and continued interest in ‘adult colouring books’, McKenna’s fine line drawings will strike a resonant chord with doodlers, graphic artists and animal lovers of all ages! The artist’s striking imagery rooted perhaps in European folk-art painting contains a very strong Pacific and New Zealand flavour. McKenna’s flair for repetitive design is only enhanced by its use to ‘colour in’ easily recognised flora and fauna forms as well as insects and fishes covering them in intricate patterns often associated with folk culture. Her ability may be called ‘advanced doodling’ by some but those in the know will easily recognise a distinctive art form mastered by very few. The relationship of one pattern to another and the way that Ms McKenna fills the voids on a subject’s body will intrigue and fascinate gallery goers. Her steady hand, clever use of curves and linear forms never cease to amaze and amuse the viewer. Her handiwork has a distinctive resemblance to embroidery and fine needlework only instead of thread the artist uses coloured inks applied to paper with a deft hand.

Vivian McKenna likes to draw! She was born into a creative family. Both her mother and grandmother belonged to the Wellington Art Club and exhibited in the NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington. She says: “I have early childhood memories of sitting for the art club during school holidays. I took art as a school certificate subject and had my first work exhibited in the Wellington Cultural Centre when I was in my teens.”

After moving to Levin, McKenna attended night classes in perspective and colour. She was invited to join the Alpha Group – working artists who painted or drew together to share the expense of a model hired for portrait practice. Working in mostly pastel at this time, Viv often sold her paintings in local art shows.

In 1994 McKenna moved to Palmerston North. Unable to find a similar art group in the city, she attended an evening life drawing group hosted by Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts. When a day-time life drawing group was established in Palmerston North, Viv joined those artists as well. “My interest though remained primarily in portraiture.” In 2016 Vivian joined the Feilding and Districts Art Society (FADAS) and regularly attends their Tuesday morning sessions drawn as much by fellowship as by what she learns and shares with her fellow members.

“I have always drawn elaborate doodles on any piece of paper that came my way,” writes Viv, “and in this series of works I have endeavoured to harness that inclination in a more contained form. I hope that these works invite people to think about being part of the land we live on. To not just accept things at face value but to take a closer look! Enjoy.”

Other Upcoming Exhibitions.

Previous Exhibitions.

"CHANGES"
By: Willie Docherty
- 25 Aug 18

The Infinite Smallness of Being
By: Raemon Rolfe and David Lupton
- 13 Jul 18

Land & Water
By: Timon Maxey
- 22 Jun 18

Heritage
By: Don Hill & Steve Leurink
- 01 Jun 18

“THREE RIVERS, ONE MOUNTAIN”
By: New Paintings by Ross Whitlock
- 07 Apr 18

COMMODITIES
By: Roger Staples
- 02 Mar 18

A Family Affair
By: Colin Hoare and sons James and Alex
- 02 Feb 18

ANIMALIA II
By: Vivian McKenna
- 12 Jan 18

Echoes Of Fiordland
By: Annabel Neall
- 12 Dec 17

TE IRA TANGATA
By: Te Wananga o Aotearoa Graduate Weavers 2017
- 13 Nov 17

ANTARCTICA: ART EXHIBITION
By: Sue Weterings
- 20 Oct 17

IRIS: Photography Exhibition
By: 2017 Epsom/NZIPP Award Winners
- 06 Oct 17

Land and Water
By: Jacky Pearson
- 08 Sep 17

Moments of Transcendent Beauty
By: Paul Lyons
- 11 Aug 17

“Exploring the Intersection Between Detail and Suggestion”
By: John Tidball
- 15 Jul 17

‘The Spaces Between’
By: Anne Morris
- 17 Jun 17

‘The Primacy of Gesture’
By: Ross Whitlock
- 12 May 17

LAND & SEA
By: Alfred Memelink
- 23 Mar 17

Animalia
By: Vivian McKenna
- 03 Mar 17

Across the Ditch
By: Australian and New Zealand Print Artists
- 04 Feb 17

“GIVEN TIME AND SPACE” Abstracted Imagery
By: Colin Hoare
- 06 Jan 17

“ECLECTIC IMPRESSIONS”
By: Watercolours by Celia Guy
- 03 Dec 16

E Toru nga Mea
By: Weaving and Carving Graduates Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Papaio
- 14 Nov 16

Dot's Nice
By: Elka
- 21 Oct 16

Colour Blast: Work That Jump Off the Canvas
By: Boyd-Dunlop
- 10 Sep 16

Heart Standing Still
By: Rachael Smith
- 30 Sep 16

SAMPLING: Paintings by Jayson Rollon & WARMING BODY & SOUL: Caohagan Island Quilts
By: Jayson Rollon & WARMING BODY & SOUL
- 25 Jul 16

Head for the Coast New Work
By: Beth Charles & Robert Charles
- 11 Mar 16

Extraordinary Art: Paintings
By: Paula Novak
- 12 Feb 16

Window to the Falling Sun: Paintings
By: Annabel Neall
- 04 Dec 15

TEXPLORATIONS: Paintings
By: Paul Lyons
- 14 Nov 15

An exhibition of Maori Art - Maunga Kura Toi degree artists of Te Wananga o Aotearoa
By: Te Koru
- 03 Nov 15

Country to Coast
By: Nicholas Hayter
- 11 Oct 15

Anything Goes: Annual Exhibition
By: Manawatu Spinners and Weavers Guild
- 28 Sep 15

WATERCOLOUR ASPECTS: New Paintings
By: Dennis Greenwood
- 15 Sep 15

"Soul Is Eternal":
By: Wayne Hansen
- 29 Aug 15

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