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Gabby McKenzie - Aotearoa Artist
Gabby McKenzie

Gabby McKenzie - aotearoa artist

Gabby McKenzie is the epitome of a quintessential Kiwi fan-girl. Her great love and deep respect for New Zealand’s rich history and modern diversity has inspired her to create vibrant portrayals of our illustrious native species and landscapes. Her paintings depict various scenes; all of which include great references to our ‘Kiwiana’ culture, as well as titbits alluding to the cheeky humour of a typical New Zealander. An extremely talented artist, Gabby has afforded us a glimpse into her creative process and the inspiration behind her quirky characters.

Hailing from Otago in the picturesque South Island, Gabby was raised to appreciate the literary lessons of beloved children’s authors such as Roald Dahl and René Goscinny. She also developed a life-long passion for art. It was thanks to her uncle, a man of many talents, that she was able to cultivate and hone her unique story-telling abilities through illustration and paint. “As a child, I loved storybooks, and it was the illustrations that would really hold my attention. The stories and poetry created by Roald Dahl, as well as the Asterix and Obelix series, appealed to my wild and vivid imagination. I owe thanks to my uncle who would often babysit and take me on many adventures that shaped my view of the world, resulting in my current techniques and style. “My uncle was a creative genius who recorded music and painted billboards by hand in the days before computerised graphic design. He wrote music and poetry, sang opera, sketched illustrations, and played various musical instruments. During the school holidays, he taught me how to paint, and care for my tools, as well as to write poetry. Once, he even made me solely responsible for building a scarecrow to keep the kingfishers away from the fishpond. It was a magical time, and it created in me a strong appreciation of the arts. Today as an adult, the things that I value most are the creative teachings I discovered in those early years.” Due to these influential moments, Gabby continued to follow her artistic passions through to adulthood. Gabby’s inspiration is found in her surroundings, in New Zealand’s wildlife, as well as in the people of Aotearoa.
See more of Gabby's work here: Gabby McKenzie

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