Artist Darryl Grant is drawing on skills acquired while studying at EIT to curate an exhibition opening at Pernel Fruitworld in Hastings.
The Taradale resident continues his battle back to good health after suffering physical and mental injuries in two serious accidents.
Darryl had been employed at a manufacturing plant for 21 years when his hand was trapped in a machine, mangling his fingers and triggering post-traumatic stress that ruled out a return to the workplace.
After nine months of treatment and a succession of operations, Darryl started art studies at EIT. Six weeks later, he was badly hurt in a hit-and-run accident which left him with multiple broken bones and ongoing pain.
Re-learning how to handle a paintbrush, he completed his degree last year. He is back on campus this year as winner of a John Harré Scholarship, supporting Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design students and developing his own practice with a studio provided by EIT’s ideaschool.
Darryl has built up a body of paintings that often feature realistic depictions of old car bodies and he is now sculpting in metal. Several of his paintings will feature in the exhibition Transpire, which opens at the Pakowhai Road orchard on December 7.
Unfortunately, he won’t be able to attend the opening as he is scheduled for further surgery the previous day.
“Curating the exhibition has boosted my self-confidence,” he says, “drawing on my newly-acquired organisational skills and a broadened knowledge of art.”
Darry is undertaking the role in a voluntary capacity, liaising with Pernel Fruitworld, which is adding regular art exhibitions to its marketing activities.
The artists he has booked are final-year EIT degree students Emma Kerr, Emma Grapes and Jamie Morrell, 13-year-old Tamatea Intermediate School student Molly Austin and guest artist Heather Wilson of Taradale.
He commissioned EIT student Liam Farrell to design invitations and a poster, organised EIT sponsorship for the event and worked out a plan for hanging the paintings in the upstairs gallery space.
With the exhibition running for two months, Darryl is looking forward to seeing the results of his curatorial efforts just as soon as he has recuperated from his most recent surgery.