Meet The Maker // Ari Apa Ilango - The Poi Room Ltd

Meet The Maker // Ari Apa Ilango

Meet The Maker // Ari Apa Ilango

We are SO excited to introduce you to our NEW ARTIST - Ari Apa!

Ari is an analog collage artist from Auckland. Her hand-cut three-dimensional collages reflect the beauty of nature & what we make of it, with a unique take on a traditional 'cut-and-paste' medium.

WHAT IS YOUR ARTISTIC PRACTICE? 
I make hand-cut paper collages; I make them with a twist by layering the paper three dimensionally. 

WHAT DOES A NORMAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I work full time as a legal researcher, so during the day I go to work. In the evenings, I usually spend time with my husband, watch an episode or two of our current show (right now we're re-watching 'Avatar: The Legend of Korra' - no, it's not just for kids! I also try to do something creative, that may be working on a collage or something else, like crocheting. 

HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN - WHERE DID THIS PASSION FOR THE ARTS COME FROM?

I have always been surrounded by makers! My mum is a talented painter, photographer & writer; my dad has written a book of poems & is a musician; my brother is a musician & actor &, my sister writes too. I found my niche in visual arts & have always been obsessed with textiles, florals & eclectic antiques & collectibles. I inherited the art of cross stitch & crochet from my grandmothers & have been an avid needleworker since my early teens; making things has always been a big part of my life. I adore paper collage because it ties together my love of old objects & obsession for collecting & combining things. I love being able to tie beautiful images together & enjoy the sense that I'm re-contextualising images from discarded objects. 

  

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION AS AN ARTIST? 
Primarily from nature; flowers, birds, & other colourful critters. I also draw a lot of inspiration from music & literature.

WHAT IS THE THEME / INSPIRATION / STORIES BEHIND YOUR PIECES? 
My current theme is on the idea of paradise, the bounty we find in nature and the ways humanity has learned to transform it into different types of beauty; i.e. through gem cutting and jewelry making. 

WHAT TYPE OF COFFEE DO YOU DRINK - LONG BLACK, FLAT WHITE, OR ARE YOU MORE OF A HERBAL TEA DRINKER?
Recently, I've lost my taste for barista-made coffee (ever since lockdown)! I prefer plunger coffee with a spoon of coconut oil. 



WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING / WORKING IN AOTEAROA? 
The thing I love most is probably our proximity to incredible landscapes! We have snowy alps, sub-tropical rainforests, wild black sand beaches, etc etc right on our doorstep. 

HOW HAS YOUR ARTWORK CHANGED OVERTIME?
When I started making collage art, I made flat layered pieces. Over time I developed techniques to make them 3D & I absolutely love the effect that 3D layering has on my collages!


WHAT IS YOUR STUDIO / CREATIVE SPACE LIKE?
Right now, my studio space is in our garage. I would describe it as an "organised mess"; there is usually paper everywhere! It's definitely not my dream studio space but you have to work with what you've got! 
 

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LEGACY / LASTING IMPRESSION TO BE AS AN ARTIST? 
In short, I'd like my art to bring joy & make people appreciate the beauty & wonder of nature.

 

WHAT DREW YOU TO WORKING WITH THE POI ROOM?
The lovely owners, Clayton & Melanie-Jane, & their generous approach. I admire their mission to make a positive difference & support New Zealand artists. 

DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE POI ROOM & HOW OUR VALUES FIT WITH YOU AS AN ARTIST? 
My relationship with The Poi Room has only just begun. They have been so supportive of me so far & I know that I have so much to learn about the art world & how to run my business as an artist. 

View Ari's Collection HERE






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