Happiest at home with her treasures

Beauty in Numbers
PICTURE PERFECT: Taranaki artist Dale Copeland doesn�t have to go far from her kitchen table to be in
her favourite spot in the province. Her studio, filled with trinkets from all over the world, is her heaven on earth. 

This was in the TAranaki Daily News, Friday 28.12.13
The reporter Taryn Utiger, and the photographer Robert Charles, came out to visit and put this together. Isn't it lovely?
It's part of their end-of-year series about local people, their favourite spot in Taranaki, their memory of 2013 and their thoughts looking forward to 2014.

Dead felines may hang on the wall but you can't swing a cat in Dale Copeland's studio.
Her art room is brimming with trinkets and treasures, and there are quirky tales of how she came about the skulls and skeletons hidden in the nooks and crannies.
Every single space is covered with oddments including bits of lace, the innards of clocks and the remnants of snake skins.
The cobwebs on the ceiling are so old they hang heavy and dark with the weight of collected dust, but to Copeland this is heaven on earth.
The room housing her trove of imminent art is her favourite place in Taranaki.
Space is tight and you can barely make your way into the room, let alone through it, so it's easy to see how she could lose herself in her studio.
The artist, a pillar of the Taranaki art scene, says there's never enough time for her to be in her studio as much as she would like.
"This is the best place in the world. It really is.
"It's filled with things people have given me - like dead rats and old dolls. I just love it," she says.
"I seldom use the dead things for my creations, but it's nice to have them here if you need them, and they are so beautiful."
Although she's happy with her studio the way it is, she's preparing to tidy it - just a bit.
"I don't do housework. It seems like such a waste of time.
"But we have the Taranaki Arts Trail next year so people need to be able to get in here and walk through it."
Her studio is connected to her house, which is tucked away in an area of bush 5km past Okato.
Her partner, artist Paul Hutchinson, has a large studio in the yard and the old Inglewood Scout hall has been turned into a den of creativity and paint.
A few minutes down the road is a beach Copeland says is hardly touched by humans.
"Oh, it's lovely. Life really is fun when you have time to play."
Copeland, a former teacher, says there is nowhere she would rather be this holiday season.
"What, you expect me to want to go to Auckland or Wellington and be stuck in traffic?
"Oh no, thank you. I'll be here with my treasures."

What are you looking forward to in 2014?
"Our artists' trip to Paris next November. Twelve of us will travel and take over with us the work of 40 people. The exhibition is in Galerie 59 Rivoli."

What is your holiday message for the people of Taranaki?
"Give up housework, pay off your debt, retract and live simply. Life is short."

email Dale   at dale @ tart.co.nz (remove the spaces)

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