Her art education began in the small rural community of Fern Flat, where she was surrounded by a vibrant community of artists. Her mother’s studio was always a creative powerhouse with colourful painted silks, embroidery and sewing. As a teenager, Ina gravitated towards woodblock as a medium to explore patterns, lines and texture, being drawn to the meditative effects of carving the block, as well as the active and technical engagement in transferring the image. 

Her artistic practice predominately explores themes around the construction of individual and group identities, drawing on her academic background in cultural anthropology, graduating in 2005 with an MA (Hons). Her desire to discover new cultures led to consequent travels abroad in North and West Africa. While living in Morocco she studied traditional engraving and etching techniques at the French Institute of Tetouan and on returning to New Zealand became immersed in the local print community, exhibiting widely and having her first solo show in 2017. 

She is currently located in Florence, where she is studying at Il Bisonte – Foundation for Art and Printmaking.

Artist Statement

I am interested in the powerful relationship between objects and memory and how this shapes how we see ourselves. My work reflects ideas about cultural memory and individual identity. I have always been fascinated by the idea of individuals and cultures reinventing themselves. My examination of objects is something akin to an archaeologist, asking – what do these fragments of material culture say about ourselves? 

My artistic process combines graphic, black and white woodblock images and vibrant, colourful stencils, applied using aerosol paints. This contrast between traditional and contemporary printmaking processes reflects the tension between modern identities that are constantly emerging and flourishing from within dominant cultural platforms. 

I am always keen to get involved in collaborative art projects, exhibitions and create private commissions. Please get in touch via my contacts page or email me: i.arraoui@gmail.com

Facebook and Instagram: @inaarraoui

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