Neil graduated from Wellington School of Design in 1979 & spent many years working as a Creative Director in Advertising. It was only in 2015 that he decided to pursue his interest in jewellery & sculpture, expanding upon his existing skill base to teach himself the necessary techniques required to make jewellery. Neil now lives in Mangōnui in the Far North allowing him to access local materials & resources.
Neil’s highly experimental work showcases New Zealand treasures/taonga such as pounamu, amber, jasper, kauri copal/gum, & more traditional precious stones & metals including South Island gold & titanium. Neil’s design process is driven by the qualities & characteristics of his materials. His bold, highly distinctive pieces combine elements of a refined medieval design whilst also showcasing the integrity of his material palette. Neil uses an extremely rare New Zealand Amber, certified by the Gemological Institute of America as genuine amber with an estimated age of 75 million years & a natural phosphorescence that causes its colour to change when moved.
His work has been exhibited locally & internationally at prestigious galleries including Fingers Contemporary Jewellery Gallery in Auckland & The Royal Academy of Arts in London.
WHAT IS YOUR ART PRACTICE?
I make everything from jewellery, sculpture, furniture, painting, design, architecture, building.
WHAT DOES A NORMAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
It's not planned - I let the days decide as I go.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN - WHERE DID THE PASSION FOR THE ARTS COME FROM?
The passion for the arts I think is hereditary from my mother & grandmother!
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION AS AN ARTIST?
Everywhere! I am inspired by life & the materials I work with.
WHAT IS THE THEMES/INSPIRATIONS BEHIND YOUR ARTWORKS?
There are no themes or stories, I just do it!
WHAT TYPE OF COFFEE DO YOU DRINK - LONG BLACK, FLATE WHITE OR ARE YOU A HERBAL TEA DRINKER?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WORKING & LIVING IN AOTEAROA?
For me, it is the only place to be!
WHAT IS YOUR STUDIO/CREATIVE SPACE LIKE?
I am set in the bush on the coast with my lovely partner & my new 4 legged friend, Harvey.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LEGACY/LASTING IMPRESSION TO BE AS AN ARTIST?
I believe, any one can do it, just give it a go!
WHAT DREW YOU TO WORKING WITH THE POI ROOM?
The Poi Room has a nice selection of New Zealand Artists - it's great to be amongst it.