An Auckland-based, self-taught landscape photographer, my art is best described as untamed; capturing the world as it is - wild, imperfect, colourful – but always from an angle that feels fresh and original to me.
"Colourful, original and in celebration of New Zealand, every piece of art contains my love for colour, for beauty, for nature and for perspective.”
What did you want to be when you grow up?
I never knew what I wanted to be when I wanted to grow up and still don’t! I went to university and studied commerce instead of arts because I was advised I wouldn’t be able to get a job if I did an arts degree. In hindsight, I should have followed my heart because commerce was dry and soulless to me. At the end of my degree I had another sliding door moment; go off on an OE or start working. I was risk-averse so started working. I left the mainland and went to Wellington and entered the corporate sector where I spent the next 23 years of my life working in marketing and business strategy. In 2012, I left the corporate sector and started my own consultancy business and that’s when art entered the room. On reflection, I have always been an extremely visual person but it wasn’t until I got into my 30’s that I started dabbling in Art. Then children came along and it all got too hard. In my 40’s, writing and photography took centre stage and the overlap between my profession and passions slowly started to happen. I’m still not where I want to be but I think I’m finally heading in the right direction. It’s only taken a lifetime to get there!
What inspires you?
Colour inspires me. Texture inspires me. Nature inspires me. Beauty inspires me. Beautiful flowers, make up, cloth, interior styling, candles, stationery, fruit. Anything and everything. We are surrounded by beauty at all times, you just need to be looking out for it. I go for a walk every morning and the sunrise inspires me every single day, it’s such an amazing light show. I also have the benefit of living by the sea and that is a constant source of awe.
What do you do when you’re not inspired to create art?
Nature and other people’s work. I often look at my own work and get despondent but then I see the beauty that other people have created and it inspires me to try and find my own space, my own signature style.
What does your art aim to say to your audience?
Take a closer look at the ordinary and you will see the extraordinary. My Rockstars Collection is a classic example of that. Rock faces taken up close become the most fascinating canvas. I was so excited by what I was able to create in this collection
What is your process when creating new art?
I think the most important tool for me is not having any expectations. Expectations kill imagination. The only decision I need to make is the venue for example Muriwai or Whatipu Beach and then I try and remain open to the opportunities that present themselves. Most of the work then comes after I get back to my desk. Pouring through the hundreds of shots and manipulating them until they get to a space where I am satisfied with them. I never have a firm picture in my mind what the end point will look like, it’s much more organic than that for me. Again, expectations can suck the life out of you.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I’ve written two books. These were commissions rather than my own work but still, were huge undertakings. One book involved interviewing female offenders and it took me into Auckland Women’s Prison multiple times which was an experience I will never forget. It was an extremely humbling process to hear the life stories that take women on a pathway to prison.
Do you have any advice to young or new artists?
Take off your rose-tinted glasses and treat this as a business, not a hobby. Surround yourself with the right people from the get-go. The right people are positive friends and family. There will be lots of friends and family that won’t be supporters and you just have to bypass them for your own mental health. Connect with other artists who have done the hard yards or are doing the hard yards. There are so many amazing people out there that will be happy to give you a hand up or point you in the right direction. Finally, create the space that you need to find your own space. Follow lots of artists, unpick what you like about their work and give yourself the time to evolve your own. It is the path less trodden so creating a support network is imperative.
One Thousand Blooms art print tees