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Student Artist Selected for ArtX

May 27, 2015
Dunja Tornier in her ideaschool studio at EIT

Dunja Tornier in her ideaschool studio at EIT

The “emerging artist” in the upcoming Art-X national exhibition and sale, Dunja Tornier doesn’t paint to make a statement.

In fact, the EIT ideaschool student says her paintings are about leaving language behind and letting the medium speak.

Invited by the Rotary Club of Greenmeadows to submit three works for the 34th Art-X opening in the Pan Pac Foyer at Napier’s Municipal Theatre on June 19, Dunja will exhibit three untitled abstracts. All draw on a striking colour palette of russet, grey and black.

The 22-year-old German arrived in New Zealand in 2012 on a year’s working holiday. But after falling in love with a Kiwi, she made a short trip back to Berlin to explain all to her mother and returned to Hawke’s Bay to re-join her man.

“My mother has been very supportive of my decision to stay,” she says, “but education is very important in my family. I looked around and ideaschool caught my interest.”

Not rating her English at the time, Dunja launched into the Certificate in Introduction to Visual Arts and Design and is now into the second year of her Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design.

Although she studied art at school, she feels lucky that her mother and nana are supporting her financially to study at EIT.

“I feel lecturers here are very approachable and supportive.”

Adopting a feminist approach in exploring identity in her art, Dunja is relishing the opportunities offered at ideaschool to work with different materials. She has experimented with metal, wood, plaster and clay and is currently enjoying abstract painting.

“My dream is to be a practising artist, although I am also interested in curating exhibitions. That’s something I can imagine doing.”

Dunja sees herself returning to Europe with her boyfriend who has yet to travel overseas. In the meantime, however, she says she is really enjoying herself living in New Zealand and studying at EIT.

The Art-X exhibition will run from 20 June to 5 July.