Nine years ago, Danny Redwood was admitted to hospital on a Friday afternoon and told, “If you are still alive on Monday, we’ll start chemo.”

WORDS TALIA WALDEGRAVE PHOTOS TRACIE HEASMAN

Pri­or to that cheery con­ver­sa­tion, Dan­ny had been run­ning a farm, man­ag­ing prop­er­ties, and rear­ing calves before and after work. He ignored the signs that his body was find­ing the relent­less toil tough. He was also neglect­ing his cre­ativ­i­ty and became very sick. “I was work­ing hard­er, not smarter, and had become increas­ing­ly run down for months. When I couldn’t lift my arms above my head, I knew some­thing was seri­ous­ly wrong.”

It was his moth­er Bar­bara who even­tu­al­ly pur­suad­ed him to go to the doc­tor. Bar­bara recalls, “Look­ing at Dan­ny next to his broth­er, his skin was a ghost­ly grey. I had to plead with him to see some­one.”

Dan­ny says, “My blood cells were com­plete­ly out of whack. Although I had been given the all-clear for can­cer a cou­ple of weeks ear­lier, in a short space of time I’d devel­oped the ear­ly signs of acute lym­phoblas­tic can­cer, a rare form of leukemia in adults.

DANNY WITH HIS CHILDREN Left to right, Bod­hi, Dan­ny and Grace.

I need­ed a bone mar­row trans­plant. Thank­ful­ly, my broth­er James was a per­fect match. He is my only blood sib­ling, so the odds of him being a match were pret­ty slim. In fact, I met some­one else in the same boat as me who had eight sib­lings — and none were a match.

The treat­ment and recov­ery was bru­tal­ly intense, but as soon as I was strong enough, I picked up a paint­brush. Hav­ing a cre­ative out­let is so impor­tant to men­tal health.”

Nine years on, and a her­culean recov­ery lat­er, I meet Dan­ny at his work, Arti­san Fram­ing and Plaques, in the Chapel Street shop­ping cen­tre in Tau­ran­ga.

GREAT CARE is tak­en to main­tain antique frames

I love being an artist, but it’s not always sus­tain­able finan­cial­ly, so I want­ed to do some­thing that incor­po­rat­ed what I love to make a liv­ing. Being an artist puts me in a great posi­tion as a framer.”

I bought this busi­ness because it had great machin­ery and a long-stand­ing rep­u­ta­tion. I have an idea to build an art-leas­ing arm to my busi­ness, too. We’ve got so many great artists in Tau­ran­ga, and I want to build a busi­ness mod­el that treats them well and finds places to show their art.”

Look­ing around, there are stacks of pieces — paint­ings, prints and pho­tographs — each wait­ing for the right cas­ing to bind them and make them wall-ready. Dan­ny boasts some of the best machin­ery in town, includ­ing an ancient-look­ing, inus­tri­al-grade guil­lotine.

Being some­one who loves and appre­ci­ates art, Dan­ny uses the best stock and top qual­i­ty fas­ten­ings and mount­ings for all his frames. “My machin­ery enables me to provide three lev­els of fram­ing, from basic up to the very high­est-lev­el, con­ser­va­tion fram­ing, which dis­plays an artist’s work in the best way pos­si­ble, lasts longer and means gal­leries will take them more seri­ous­ly. It’s also about pre­serv­ing fam­i­ly mem­o­ries and mak­ing them shine in just the right way.”

It’s clear Danny’s expe­ri­ence has given him a men­tal calm­ness and clar­i­ty that extends to his work. His spe­cial touch­es brings added life to the many beau­ti­ful prints and paint­ings he is tasked with pre­serv­ing.

 

Shop 14a, 65 Chapel St,

Tau­ran­ga

Open­ing hours:

Mon­day — Fri­day 10 am — 5 pm

ARTISANFRAMING