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080719 SS 0016 Carmen Lye webCarmen Lye has opened a sole exhibition in Methven. Photo Susan SandysTurning to Christianity later in life is fuelling a wave of creativity for Ashburton artist Carmen Lye.

The 46-year-old painter has just opened a sole exhibition at the Mt Hutt Memorial Hall Methven.

Lye studied art and design and became a graphic designer after leaving Ashburton College.

She became renowned locally as a prolific painter, with her colourful expressionistic and abstract works popular for their bright and contrasting colour palettes, combining the use of collage.

But when her children were young and she was busy with her graphic design business, she took a break for about 15 years.

Today, mum to 18-year-old Jake and 14-year-old Riley, Lye has only recently got back into painting, and one of her main motivating factors has been her new faith.

Lye said while she had always read the Bible and been interested in Christianity, she had never made the leap into becoming a practising Christian until meeting her husband Michael Lye about eight years ago.

“It’s a subject I have painted since art school, but only now am I painting from the viewpoint of a Christian,” she said.

Lye was aiming to speak to the spirit, “allowing possibilities and wonderment” to enter the minds of those viewing the works.

“I think everyone is searching for the answer to that question – what if there is more out there?” she said.

The exhibition features a range of subject matter including nature and the beginning of life on earth, tectonic forces pushing up mountains, angel’s wings and Jesus on the cross.

Many are inscripted with quotes from the Bible.

By Susan Sandys © The Ashburton Guardian - 9 July 2019

Rowing 2019 web1Photo Heather MackenzieIt may be the middle of winter, but Ashburton College’s rowers were out on the water braving the cold at the weekend to showcase their sport to potential newcomers.

The Ashburton College rowing club hosted an open day at Lake Hood on Sunday morning, and will hold another this Sunday morning, from 8am.

They’ll also hold two next month, on August 4 and August 25.

© The Ashburton Guardian - 9 July 2019

Jo Luxton and Jessica TimmoJessica Timmo (right) with Jo Luxton at Parliament. Photo supplied.Ashburton’s Jessica Timmo has had her first look into the halls of power at Wellington as she gears up for Youth Parliament this month.

The 17-year-old Ashburton College student is Labour List MP based in Rangitata Jo Luxton’s Youth MP, one of 120 teenagers cho-sen by MPs in electorates from throughout New Zealand.

The Youth MPs will descend on the capital from July 16 to 17 for Youth Parliament 2019.

Jessica said it was an amazing experience to visit Parliament for a sneak peek last week, courtesy of Luxton.

She even got to see two of her idols, Green MP Chloe Swarbrick and Labour MP Tamati Coffey, in action.

Youth MPs will not only gain an insight into the lives of MPs, but also get the opportunity to be heard on issues they are passionate about.

For Timmo, this is mental health.

“Within the organisations and committees I involve myself in, I am constantly pushing for services and opportunities to be available for our young people of today,” she said.

© The Ashburton Guardian - 8 July 2019