Experimental Artist & Jeweller
HOW WERE YOU FIRST INTRODUCED TO THIS TYPE OF WORK AND WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR EARLY EXPLORATION OF IT?
I studied a Bachelor of Art and Design (Contemporary Craft) at Unitec, graduating in 2015. The first half of the degree I spent making sculpture and furniture, the second of the degree I made jewellery and installations. I enjoyed the switch to working small scale as it allowed me to test and translate sculptural ideals quickly and it satisfied my need to gain a practical skill along with the conceptual art education. I ended up working in both areas, exploring ideas on small scale first then translating them into larger installations and sculptures. I found working in this way, the sculptural concepts fed the jewellery experiments and vice versa.
HOW HAS YOUR WORKED CHANGED AND DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS? WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK AFFECTED THIS?
I didnt consider making work outside of exhibition work until our last year of study where we had a 6 week collaborative brief to produce work in response to another artists designs. Cybele Wiren came in and presented some examples of her work for us to respond to. This was definitely a huge change to previous briefs which were heavy on concept and research. It was a good challenge and made us think outside of our art exhibition box.
As a result of that 6 week brief, Cybele gave me the opportunity to work with her further. I got to experience having my jewellery photographed with her 2015 winter range, meet her PR team and learn a bit about what was required to produce a range of work for sale outside of gallery and exhibition practise. It was valuable experience and has led me to continue to work on creating a range I can put out in boutique stores in 2016. Alongside this, I am continuing to work on my art for exhibitions and am doing some collaborative work with 2 friends Ken Merrick and Nate Saville (we’re called ‘Tactic Magic’ and have our first piece in the Harbourview Sculpture Trail in March 2016!
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHERE YOU WORK FROM? WHAT DO YOU FIND SPECIAL ABOUT LIVING OUT WEST?
I work mostly from home at Bethells beach. I have a studio set up, part on the deck and part in the lounge, so I am surrounded by my work, tools and nature, its great. I love this part of the West Coast, I grew up in Taranaki so I guess its a similar feel, quite raw and wild, beautiful forests and beaches and laid back people. What I find special about this particular place is theres a tranquility amongst the stunning rich tree and bird life, rocky cliffs and warm black sand.
WHAT CAN VISITORS EXPECT TO SEE WHEN THEY POP BY YOUR STUDIO DURING OPEN STUDIOS WAITAKERE?
I'm showing work at Te Henga Studios just up the road, as a bus wouldnt get up the steep gravel driveway to my studio. I’ll have a range of work I’m experimenting with as well as some finished pieces to show.
NAME YOUR TOP 5 SECRET SPOTS YOU LIKE TO VISIT IN THE WAITAKERE RANGES?
1. Te Henga Walkway. The walk from Lake Wainamu carpark, over the hills to O’neills Bay (45 mins). Such amazing scenery, a decent bit of exercise and a walk rich in history. I did the Matariki walk this year with Rewi Spraggon, he told us stories of the original tribe and its made the walk so much richer.
2. The Cascades. Not so much a secret spot, but loads of great spots for picnics in summer where you need the shade of trees and the fresh water to cool off.
3. Te Henga Studios. They have workshops and regular events on sustainability, community, art, yoga, educational movies and generally all the good stuff. They also have in the works eco weddings. You can also hire their amazing venue for your own retreats and workshops.
4. The raw milk dairy farm and vending machine on Waitakere Rd, Taupaki. I don't drink milk much, but if I am going to, this is where I go, its so so good and only $3 a litre.
5. The Bethells caravan cafe and all the small fruit and vege stalls on the side of Waitakere and Bethells roads. You can get giant protea flowers, eggs, citrus, seedlings and whatevers in season and overflowing in someone elses (usually sprayfree) garden. I love buying direct from the grower if my gardens not producing enough. Its worth driving slow on the drive out here to spot the signs & bringing some change.