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LUMA lights up this long weekend in Queenstown

30 May 2019

LUMA, an award-winning light festival in Queenstown which attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, has gone gnome-mad. From May 31 to June 3, it will be ‘gnome sweet gnome’ to around 30 of the legendary little garden creatures. But in true LUMA style, there’s a twist to this tale – they’ve been lovingly transformed into mini works of art by some of New Zealand’s top artists using a range of Resene paints.

The brief for the artists was broad – they could decorate, pull apart or incorporate the gnomes into a larger piece of art, and were generally encouraged to go gnome crazy! Resene provided sealers and paints to ensure the gnomes survive chilly winter nights in the garden.

LUMA Light Festival Trust chairman Duncan Forsyth predicts the gnomes will be the “sure fire hit” of this year’s event.

“We did tell the artists that ‘anything goes’ for their gnome makeover and they haven’t disappointed us,” Duncan says.

Each artist will have their name featured alongside their gnome – including luminaries such as Tony O’Keefe, Ben Ho and Mary Mai of Queenstown, Jenny Mehrtens of Arrowtown, Dick Frizzell of Auckland and many more.

Throughout the festival, gnomes are being auctioned off through TradeMe as part of an ‘Adopt-a-Gnome’ programme to raise funds for an emerging young artist to work on an installation for next year’s event. Art lovers and businesses from around New Zealand are being encouraged to liberate a gnome through the auction.

A selection of the gnomes up for auction, which have been painted by a host of talented New Zealand artists using Resene paints.

During LUMA, part of the Queenstown Gardens will be transformed into ‘gnome man’s land’ with an area dubbed ‘Gnome Alley’, showcasing their transformation.

2018 LUMA festival in Queenstown

For more information on the festival, visit the LUMA website.

images Aiste Vasileviciute, Simon Holden, Tomas Whelan Henderson