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Steel proves a medium with potential for Kaikoura painter

Steel proves a medium with potential for Kaikoura painter

A burnt painting may not sound like your average person’s cup of tea, but a Kaikoura artist believes hers are a New Zealand first.

Ruth Stirnimann has her original paintings digitised and then burnt into white and stainless steel for colourful, outdoor displays – not a pile of ashes at your feet.

By what she called a “chance meeting of cosmic coincidence” Stirnimann was able to collaborate with Synergy Printing, from Waikanae on her project.

Synergy Printing is believed to be the only company in New Zealand using a steel printing technique, capturing the high resolution scanned picture in the steel, rather than printing onto it.

Stirnimann believes choosing to burn into steel rather than printing onto aluminum adds to the aesthetics and lifespan of the outdoor artwork.

“I have always wanted to venture into the outdoor environment with my works but I needed to find a way of making my paintings weather-proof,” says Strinimann.

“These steel prints make the landscape and commercial places more alive, radiating joy, harmony, balance, and inspiring people. On a grey day it is so amazing to see them outside, lifting the spirit.”

She believes that the improved technology will continue to grow the market for outdoor art, especially paintings, due to the intense colouring and detail and the increased lifetime of the works in steel compared to aluminium, which become weathered after a few years.

“They attract people to linger. The galleries love them,” she says.

Later this year Stirnimann will open an exhibition at her own studio in Kaikoura that will incorporate a number of steel prints on display outside the gallery.