Painterly Printmaking

Had a wonderful weekend exploring  possibilities with layering woodblock plates to make colorful textured images. Our tutor, Gary Shinfield, shared his practice with us, using Indian inks on thin Japanese paper to free-sketch a reduction of a landscape, we then pasted it onto a thin pice of maple wood ply before carving it out. 

We also etched Lino using wax with caustic soda which gave a fantastic finish and opened the door for many exciting directions in future explorations with etching……watch this space! 

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Art Plus Festival – Art Auction

December 1st  – 3rd  is the Art Plus Festival; a fundraising event for Birkenhead Primary School, where my work Kete (below) will be for sale alongside other artists from across the country, as well as workshops, entertainment, and a cocktail gala opening night! Fantastic event to check out if you’re in Auckland that weekend.

For more info on what’s on and to purchase tickets visit: www.artplusfestival.org

kete-hero_1

A Story of Migration 

Being a first generation Kiwi, the intrigue and complexity in which my ancestors moved across Europe, from Europe to America, from New Zealand to America and back again, has frequently consumed my thoughts regarding my identity and sense of place. The immigrant experience has been part of almost every generation of my family, motivated by many reasons, although predominantly in search of a better life.

Here are some of their stories. 


PRAGUE

To avoid being drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army, Janus Varkondi was sent to live in America by his mother, a businesswoman living in Prague. He was just 14 years old. Once he had established himself, he returned to Czechoslovakia to find a wife to settle with him on a farm near Philadelphia, where they had seven children, the youngest being my maternal grandmother. The children were forbidden to speak their native language at home their names, John and Susanne Varconda, were Anglicised in an attempt to assimilate into American culture like many other immigrants of that time.


ELLIS ISLAND

My great grandfather was one of the 12 million immigrants who entered America through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. This is not surprising as it is believed that about a third of all Americans have at least one ancestor who was processed through Ellis Island. What is more shocking is that many were children travelling without a guardian, including my great grandfather who was barely a teenager at 14 years old.


CHRISTCHURCH       

Many generations ago my ancestors left London to settle in Christchurch. Their son worked for the railways as an engineer like his father had. He was a keen cornetist and founded the Addington Railway Workshop Band to escape the monotony and boredom of his day job. His oldest son refused to face the same fate as his father and set off to seek his fame and fortune as a jazz musician in America. He died in WWII and his name can be seen in the Auckland War Memorial Museum.


SAN FRANCISCO

Beulah Long was working in her father’s coffee shop in San Francisco when a tall, handsome Jazz musician from Christchurch came in for a coffee. A few years later my grandfather was born and his oldest daughter, my mother, boarded the Canberra Ocean Liner in 1972 to set sail from San Francisco to explore and reconnect with her New Zealand roots. She still lives here today.

LONDON
My grandfather was doing an Economics degree in London when WWII broke out. Being a German Jew, going home wasn’t an option. He signed up to fight along side the British, changed his name from Hirschberg to Haggard and married an English woman. He never lost his accent, but always insisted he was from ‘Southern England’ when asked where he was from. His first son, my father, emigrated to Aotearoa in the 60s and is still here today.


BERLIN

When my great grandparents were forced to leave Berlin just before WWII they left behind them a life of great privilege and wealth. The adjustment they had to undergo as refugees was monumental. They were treated with suspicion because of their strong German accents, making it impossible to find work. My great grandmother, who had never had to work a day in her life, had to learn how to lay a fire and boil an egg. Her brother, who had been a talented architect and designer with the Bauhaus, could never pursue his career in England and instead taught art to inmates at a local prison. Her son changed his family name.

All prints are available from Endemicworld, 62 Ponsonby Road, Auckland

BLOWOUT 

I’m very excited to announce my first solo show – BLOWOUT.

I have been lucky enough to receive sponsorship from Maison Vauron and L’atellier du fromage, so come have a glass or two of French wine and some cheese to celebrate with me on Friday, 4 August!

The artworks presented will invite viewers to reflect on the issue of immigration; how should immigrants be perceived and treated and what part has immigration played in their own family’s history and identity. 

From the Rivers to the Shore


Proud to be part of this exhibition, curated by Celia Walker, that highlights the plight of migratory birds and their environment in Aotearoa, many of which are endangered due to loss off habitat. My print, “Ahipara”, was inspired by the three dotterel chicks that survived at this Far North  beach thanks to the amazing response by the community who united to protect the nests and educate visitors against all odds. 

You can check it out at The Oxford Art Galley in Christchurch in June and at the  Depot Artspace in Auckland in July (opening, Saturday 29 June).

New Year Giveaway

Join my mailing list and win a print! 

Pacific Blue, 2016

Woodblock and stencil, 160mm x 250mm. Limited edition 5 

This print is a celebration of our place in the sub-tropical Pacific and the glorious, long summer days spent with friends and family at the beach over the holiday season. 

There are just 5 and I want to give one to you in thanks of all your support over the last year. It’s been an amazing year and I couldn’t have done it without you!

To get into the draw, click on the link below and enter your name and email.

http://eepurl.com/cwR7GT

Please share with friends and family. 

Thank you & happy summer days!

Vie du Pacifique ||

Was invited to participate in an international print exchange between several print studios around the Pacific Ocean, hence the title: Vie du Pacific. It opens this month in Brisbane, home to Migaloo Press which organised this project as part of the Print Council of Australia’s 50 years of print. It will tour 5 different venues in South East Queensland, then to participating countries: Japan, The Philippines, Canada, The USA, Vanuatu and Hawaii. We’ll have a chance to see it here in January at The Eastuary Arts Centre, Orewa. Will keep you posted!

The theme of the exhibition includes examining environmental concerns for the region. Climate change is one of biggest threats and the mighty mangrove has the amazing ability to reduce the effects of this, as well as having many social and economic benefits. Unfortunately, they are disappearing at an alarming rate across the Pacific due to the encroachment of residential and tourist developments along our seashores. 

Manawa, 2016

Woodblock and stencil. 110mm x 270mm. Limited edition of 20.

Prints in Ponsonby

If you love original art prints at an affordable price then you would have heard of Endemicworld; the shop/gallery/online store dedicated to promoting the work of NZ artists both here and abroad.

My latest cactus and succulent series have been well received, thanks in part to the guys at endemic’s superb framing, and have just about all sold out! 

To have a look you’ll have to drop in to their store @ 62 Ponsonby Road or keep an eye on their website for new work:

http://nzartprints.co.nz/