WHAT IS YOUR ARTISTIC PRACTICE?
I am a multidisciplinary digital artist. I produce limited edition prints, original paintings, weavings, light works, & very soon, NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens / Bitcoin Art).
WHAT DOES A NORMAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Aside from Covid interruptions, my day consists of breakfast with the family before heading into ‘Yogallery’. My wife & I recently opened this combined Yoga Space and Art Gallery/Studio in central Wellington. Here I have plenty of space & time to focus on my art, whether it’s computer graphics, painting, weaving, or fabricating. Although my art practice has exploded in the last two years, I also continue to do some commercial design work. It’s a transitional time. Yogis come & go throughout the day so there’s a nice social vibe. I can join in a class at any time or I'll head to the gym, go on a run or play a game of squash. In summer I play touch rugby in the evenings.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN - WHERE DID THIS PASSION FOR THE ARTS COME FROM?
I have always loved Art! I excelled in art at school & was also drawn to Design so I headed to Design school after college. I worked in Advertising & Design for many years, firstly for agencies & then independently. I also co-founded a software company that I’ve recently stepped away from. The Art I’m now engaged with emerged from my deep interest in design.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION AS AN ARTIST?
Inspiration can come from anywhere at any time, often when you least expect it, but mostly it is cultivated by just ‘doing’, which is a form of play. The large body of work I now have is the result of iterating & evolving a single idea I had 5 years ago. It was one of those lightbulb moments that I instinctively knew was worth exploring. I didn’t anticipate how visually compelling the work would be & the success it would have in a Fine Art context. This in itself has inspired me to iterate further and branch off in different directions. It’s like the seed has grown into a rather exotic-looking tree and I’m now playing in it every day.
WHAT IS THE THEME / INSPIRATION / STORIES BEHIND YOUR PIECES?
Contrast is an inherently important feature in my work. The mesmerising effect of black & white (or light) lines, close proximity creates a vibrational quality. I enjoy protracting the transitional experience between the 2D geometric design & 3D forms. With my large painted pieces, I exploit the 2D surface qualities to draw attention to the graphic nature of the art & to further 'camouflage' the underlying 3D compositions. It allows me to present seemingly abstract pieces of art that can conceal the subject matter. Though some works explore deeper themes or cultural concepts, many are whimsical & have a quirky idea or story to tell.
WHAT TYPE OF COFFEE DO YOU DRINK - LONG BLACK, FLAT WHITE? OR ARE YOU MORE OF A HERBAL TEA DRINKER?
I don’t drink coffee! Three cups of tea a day.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING / WORKING IN AOTEAROA?
What is there not to love? Probably the wind. Other than that, on almost every level, it feels like the best place in the world to be. Our house borders onto Zealandia, a fully fenced 225-hectare eco-sanctuary complete with 40 rare species of native wildlife. We are surrounded by Kereru, Tui, & Kaka - we can hear Kiwis most evenings. It’s a great place to relax & unwind & only 10 minutes from town, we’re very lucky! The small size of our country also means you can get discovered quite quickly. In a very short time frame, I’ve transitioned from an emerging artist to an established professional. Word gets around pretty quickly & the local art market is very strong at present.
HOW HAS THE DIGITAL SPACE AFFECTED YOUR ARTWORK?
Digital is the DNA of my work. All my explorations begin digitally and then manifest in different mediums. Social media has also played a big part in my exposure both in New Zealand and overseas. My next frontier in NFT. My work is very well suited to this domain so I now want to explore the potential of this space.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LEGACY / LASTING IMPRESSION TO BE AS AN ARTIST?
It’s easy to be accessible, it’s easy to be different - to be both is much more difficult! I like to think that my art offers something completely unique but not in an obscure, elitist, cryptic, or hyper-conceptualised manner. It’s immediate & engages people. It intrigues but doesn’t alienate. I want to carve out a niche in the space between design & art & fill people’s homes with artifacts that mesmerise & remove people from reality for just a moment. My work is often described as 'mesmerising’, ‘trippy’, ‘super cool’, ‘next level’. It’s humbling that my work is engaging wider, younger audiences & resonating so well.
WHAT DREW YOU TO WORKING WITH THE POI ROOM?
The Poi Room celebrates New Zealand artists & has a wide audience base. I don’t have a massive presence in Auckland so it feels like a great opportunity to establish myself there & be part of an awesome artists community.