Meet the Maker : Paula Coulthard

Meet the Maker : Paula Coulthard


Paula Coulthard is a talented Multimedia Artist, with a strong interest in History, Textiles and Art. We've just received some amazing new artwork in our galleries so we thought it was the perfect time to find a little more about Coulthard and her practice as an artist. 


What do you make?


I am a mixed media artist, combining fabrics and painting to produce artworks that have the presence of an object but are designed for the wall.


What new works are in the pipeline for us?


I have just made a series of works that draw on my interest in the Maori concept of Kaitiakitanga, (guardianship and protection of the earth, waters, sea and air, and safeguarding the future).


These works feature whales which were hunted in New Zealand in the 1800s to the brink of extinction. They are now on the increase but remind us that without protection of these wonderful creatures, like so many other things in our fragile environment, could be gone. These works reference cycles of the moon, stars and seasons. There is a quiet and contemplative quality to them.



How has your artwork changed over time?


I have evolved to become more of a painter through practice. I am still very interested in the texture of surfaces and like my art to be alive in a 3 dimensional way.


Where do you find you find the most inspiration?


I find my inspiration in the New Zealand landscape and in New Zealand history. I am always watching the light and the way it changes the landscape. I am inspired by early New Zealand art from both Pakeha and Maori, and especially the areas where these cultures overlap.


What is it you love about working and living in New Zealand?


New Zealand is my home and has been my family’s for 5 generations.

I feel a deep connection to the land. I love the wilderness and idiosyncratic landscapes. I am interested in the coming together of cultures and the art that comes from the mix.


How has the digital space effected and changed your work?


I am not a big user of Facebook but love Instagram. It is great to see and be inspired by other artists. Of course the internet is an amazing resource for information and research, but generally, I am quite a private person.


What is your studio like?


My studio is a mezzanine in our house. We live on a hill in Wairarapa. In my studio, I have a large workbench and work with my back to the window as this is the way the light is best. When I turn around I have beautiful long views of rolling hills, trees and animals. From my studio window I watch kereru swooping, hawks circling and sometimes even lambs being born. It is very peaceful and quiet - a bit too quiet sometimes!



What drew you to working with The Poi Room?


The Poi Room is a great showcase for working artists. Their locations are great. As an artist, being with the Poi Room is like having a permanent exhibition. Such nice people too!


Describe your relationship with the Poi Room and how our values fit with your business?


I appreciate how the Poi Room values me as an artist. I love the passion they have for representing and promoting modern New Zealand art. Their standards are high and their support of my art has helped me along on my journey as an artist.