WHEN Kardinya artist Ruth Costello (right) was in primary school, swing jazz was sweeping the world and dancing the Jitterbug was all the rage.
It was the era of Art Deco, Dada and abstraction in art, and perhaps something of the world-wide movements sparked the inner artist in the youngster in sleepy New Zealand.
Now 91, she continues to paint and is set to hold her first solo exhibition.
“It was my best subject at school,” Costello says, modestly.
The works are mostly abstract, with some “sort of realistic”, she says.
Long-time friend and mentor Helene Merriman was more loquacious.
“When first introduced to modern art [Ruth] was energised by the realisation that art did not need to be literally representational and explored instead the use of colour, brushstrokes and the mixed media for their own sakes.”
Titled Introspective Retrospective, the exhibition brings together Costello’s work from the past 30 years.
Over many decades as an artist, she realised that her inner thoughts and experiences were also captured and expressed in her work, hence the title.
Art is what keeps her going Costello says: “I’m at an age that anything can happen any day. I enjoy painting and each day is a bonus,” she says.
A life member of the Melville Community Arts Association and winner of numerous awards, she’s a regular at the Atwell Gallery, in Alfred Cove: “Which keeps me in touch with painting,” the self taught artist says.
Introspective Retrospective is at Atwell Gallery, Canning Highway, Alfred Cove from Wednesday August 31 to Sunday September 4.
by JENNY D’ANGER