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Photo: Artist Jennifer Harrison standing between two of her larger unframed acrylic on canvas abstracts.

By Mick Jensen

Abstract artist Jennifer Harrison has found a large, light and airy space in central Ashburton to tackle her art.

Her gallery and studio, called Colliding Colours, is above the Ashburton Courier office and has plenty of wall space for the English-born painter.

She has been painting for more than 20 years and recently earned a painting degree through the Dunedin School of Art.

Her desire for a formal qualification began with art studies at the former Aoraki Polytechnic’s Ashburton campus a number of years ago.

Jennifer said painting for her was a spontaneous, therapeutic and spiritual experience.

A painting mantra she liked was that “There is infinitely more to art than just realism”.

Her gallery and studio was called Colliding Colours because she loved colour in general, but had no one particular favourite.

“I’ve dabbled in landscapes and still life, and I live in a beautiful landscape, but art for me is about a feeling, beliefs and expression through suggestion.”

Her current theme was taken from seeing the plight of refugees around the world, particularly those from Syria.

Mrs Harrison usually paints in her new art space from Tuesday through to Thursday, when she stays at a cottage in Tinwald.

Her main home is at Lochaber Station, between Geraldine and Fairlie, in the area behind Mt Peel.

“I’ve got three children and eight grandchildren in Ashburton, so having a studio here is great.

“I’ve also set up a wee work station for the grandchildren, so that they can dabble with painting as well.”

She had five children and 14 grandchildren, who all lived in the Canterbury region, and had lived in New Zealand since 1994.

Mrs Harrison said a number of other rooms on the same floor as her studio would make ideal painting spaces for other artists.