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Tony McNeight - Aotearoa Artist
Tony McNeight

Tony McNeight - aotearoa artist

I loved being creative and being able to express myself from an early age, as well as communicating my ideas through creativity, with pen and paint. Art came easier to me than more academic subjects so when my art teacher at school showed belief in me and what I might be able to achieve, this motivated me to pursue creativity as a chosen career, coupled with a love of art in history. My formal art training was at AUT Graphic Art and Design, both as a student, graduate and tutor.

My inspiration comes from within. There have been periods of self-doubt, but now I feel I am in a wonderful creative zone of self confidence and belief where anything is possible – when I am open to pursuing it. I just love the joy of release and reward of the ongoing journey. That, for me, is the real enjoyment of being an artist. Degas is the artist who inspired me the most and I especially admire his little ballet dancer, a perfectly superb and complete sculpture. I love the classics (Art) and find inspiration in the inquisition of contemporary works. I have ambitions to explore other mediums and to keep on giving others joy and opportunity for artistic expression through my teaching and art installations. In five years time I see my art reaching a more global audience, touching others. As a teacher I see more students coming through my classes, plus I see myself travelling, sketching , working overseas and collaborating with others. I am presently working on taking two potentially huge projects offshore as a result of the success of the Giant Poppy Art Project. I am as enthusiastic as I was the first day I came up with the concept for the poppy (see pages 10-11 in Series 4, Volume 5, Issue no 23 of The New Zealand Artist Magazine) ”To change or move one person is to change the world entire” quoted from Oscar Schindler. I first exhibited publicly in a gallery in Margaret River and I have also had an exhibition at the Depot Art Space in Devonport. Obviously I am very proud of the Giant Poppy in 2015 in the Auckland Domain. In 2017 I was invited to France to co-create an installation which the President of France and the PM of Canada attended. The big projects I have worked on have had professional and personal obstacles that needed to be overcome, such as getting my work through councils and local government, in the face of ‘nay-sayers’ and bureaucratic red tape. This taught me that I just have to keep pushing for what I believe in!

Learn more about Tony and see more of his work here: Tony McNeight

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