HOW WERE YOU FIRST INTRODUCED TO THIS TYPE OF WORK/ARTISTIC PRACTICE - AND WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR EARLY EXPLORATION OF IT?
For many years now my work has been concerned with the landscape, and the preciousness of our environment. I love the land. Theres not really any other way to put it. It’s often hard for me to articulate this, but at points in Aotearoa I experience a physical response the land; akin to a buzzing in my feet and a nervous feeling in my stomach. I feel the smallness of me and the hugeness of the whenua. I have always been a painter, but after doing a workshop with Michael Tuffery in 2016, I jumped head first into printmaking; largely woodcuts. I have really enjoyed the new possibilities and direction this brings to my practice.
HOW HAS YOUR WORK/ARTISTIC PRACTICE CHANGED AND DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS? WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK AFFECTED THIS?
My current direction speaks about habitat loss, deforestion, and the value we must put in our forests. I let the timber that I find influence me, and dictate how it would like to be represented. Sometimes I don’t even paint on it – its interesting enough as is it. More recently I have been interested in DNA testing timber to trace its whakapapa, in order to reconnect it with other pieces from its birthplace. Over the years, I have incorporated antique maps into the narrative, in order to tell a story of the past, present and future of Aotearoa.
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHERE YOU WORK FROM? WHAT DO YOU FIND SPECIAL ABOUT LIVING OUT WEST?
I am very blessed to work from my studio in Karekare. I live with my husband, 1 teenager, 2 twentysomethings, 4 dogs and a very manky geriatric cat. We are up a 7-minute walk up from the beach, and sit alongside the stream. We have an abundance of birdlife, and can constantly hear the running of the water as it flows down to the Opal pools. I love my small community and the beauty of the land around. It still takes my breath away after 20 years of living out here.
WHAT CAN VISITORS EXPECT TO SEE WHEN THEY VISIT YOUR STUDIO DURING OSW?
My studio is nestled upstairs in my home. On display with be paintings, installation pieces and prints from previous exhibitions, along with some new work. There will be a large selection of pieces for sale, ranging from very affordable to larger framed pieces.
NAME YOUR TOP 5 SECRET SPOTS YOU LIKE TO VISIT IN THE WAITAKERE RANGES?
They’re secret! With the Rāhui now in place, a lot of my favourite places are now inaccessible. However my special places remain as:
The secret swimming hole at the top of a significant waterfall which shall not be named…
The Pararaha Gorge
Whatipu and the headland around the Manukau Harbour
The Coffin at Piha
Photos by: Sarah Allen