HOW WERE YOU FIRST INTRODUCED TO THIS TYPE OF WORK/ARTISTIC PRACTICE - AND WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR EARLY EXPLORATION OF IT?
My parents ran a small sign company. My father was passionate about his commercial art and inspired through brush and print from as early as I can remember. When I wasn’t getting in the way I was lending a creative hand. It followed that I had an eye for drawing and painting, I found it a natural outlet to express and/or escape. I guess those paint fumes are in my blood – so to speak!
HOW HAS YOUR WORK/ARTISTIC PRACTICE CHANGED AND DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS? WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK AFFECTED THIS?
Since acquiring a Graphic Design degree and an illustration HND, and working in the commercial art sectors, I found more joy in painting and drawing in a less constrained and more expressive way. My preferred subjects were generally figure drawing/painting and land and cityscapes. Today I am sometimes inclined to drop in social commentary or angst in my works, but my appreciation for beauty never wains. I seem to be slightly obsessed with Rangitoto, the Sky Tower, the female form and cows.. not necessarily in that order.
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHERE YOU WORK FROM? WHAT DO YOU FIND SPECIAL ABOUT LIVING OUT WEST?
I have an art studio we call ‘the Dungeon’. On sunny days I set up residence in my garden. We live near Titirangi in quintessential kiwi bush, with sea views and over 100 kauri trees. Our garden has become a scientific research area as my wife works for Kauri Rescue and the fight against die back. My daughter knows all about insects. We are passionate nature people.
WHAT CAN VISITORS EXPECT TO SEE WHEN THEY VISIT YOUR STUDIO DURING OSW?
An artist at work, hopefully in the garden and happy to talk about my work and/or techniques. All available artworks will be brought out to the deck. Tea/coffee and maybe a scone or two will be provided. My wife will be happy to take anyone who is interested on an educational kauri adventure. It’s a lovely stroll through the bush, mostly pathed.
NAME YOUR TOP 5 SECRET SPOTS YOU LIKE TO VISIT IN THE WAITAKERE RANGES?
Whatapu - the beach, it’s Jurassic
Whatapu - the caves, mysterious, eerie
Kakamatua - aka ‘Dog Walk Beach’
Muriwai - especially when those gannets are doing their thing
My Garden - seriously, I love it!
Photos by: Sarah Allen