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Fiona Garlick – Sculptor

Sometimes it takes a global pandemic to shift your thinking.

Covid-19 and the visceral fear of the unknown that ensued in the early days of New Zealand’s lockdown took sculptor Fiona Garlick right back to her previous career as a documentary film maker, and a film about the Black Death that swept through medieval Europe. With no orthodox medicine or doctors to speak of, people were superstitious, full of fear, and relied on talismans, incantations and lucky charms to ward off illness.

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Kristin Kay

aotearoa-artist-kristin-kayCLAY GIRL

In her childhood, Kristin Kay’s eldest sister Simone, eight years older than her and very creative herself, would often make games to use their imagination. “She would also make me and my other sister Ruth monthly magazines, hand drawn women's fashion pages, puzzle pages, baking recipes, facts about animals, anything.

A magical childhood was had by us girls. Unfortunately, just after her 19th birthday, when she had become a young adult down in Christchurch, her driver crashed the car at quite a speed. No one survived. But I always remember her instilling her creativity in me, her drawings, how she could make something out of nothing. It just stuck - she is still a big part of me.”

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Kristin Hyde

kristin-hyde-aotearoa-artistDREAM BIG, AIM HIGH

Having been a Flight Attendant for 32 years, and after taking a month's holiday with her eldest son in the Bahamas, the night Kristin Hyde flew out of Houston to come home was the night the world started closing its borders and unbeknown to her at the time, she had already crewed her last duty. They say ‘When life gives you Lemons, make lemonade’ ... so I did. I took the leap, and at 60 years old in a pandemic, I became a full-time artist.” Kristin tells us her story:

“I am mainly self-taught, having taken the odd class over the years, both online and in person. I have always been a bit of a closet creative. I would scrimp and save and spend my money on art or craft supplies. When my children were little, I started painting on terracotta pots for friends. They quickly became sought after and so I created ‘Pots for Tots.’ From there I have always dabbled over the years in many different artistic endeavours from mosaics and water colours, screen printing to beading then jewellery making, eco printing and felting. I was always eager to try new things, but painting has become the dominant leader.

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Guy duToit

JOYOUS ARTISAN

Born in South Africa and now a proud New Zealand citizen, Gideon (Guy) du Toit tried woodturning as a hobby and discovered a real passion and natural talent for it. He took his passion to France, where he studied at Ecole Escoulen, a woodturning school that was created in 2012 on the will of the municipality of Aiguines to promote the unique know-how of woodturners, knowledge which is deeply embedded in the cultural heritage of the territory. Guy qualified from here as a professional production and artistic woodturner.

“Giving up everything to go to France to study full-time was very hard. Not being able to speak French and having to be immersed in the school and classes full-time was exceptionally hard.”

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Sheree Foster

Sheree Foster Aotearoa Artist Magazine

SHEREE FOSTERS ARTISTIC JOURNEY

By Ben Lavin

Sheree Foster has always been involved in one way or another with creative things. Before becoming a full time, self-taught artist “...graduating from the school of Life’’, she was in Banking, Event Marketing and then, after having her family, a Design Build Consultant, with interests in photography, floral, and landscape design. She actually never considered becoming an artist until a visiting friend observed a piece she had created lying on a table and then asked her what gallery she had bought it from. She was quite taken aback to hear that Sheree had made it and after learning there were no plans for it she promptly decided to buy it on the spot. It now hangs proudly on their wall in their new contemporary beach house in Waihi Beach - all two metres of it, and recently been joined by piece number two another two metre monster. Thus began Sheree’s adventure as an artist which she admits was a bit of a crossroads in her life. What should she do next? 

After doing several weddings and seeing the wastage of flowers for one day she decided she wanted to create something from this and the idea came to her of repurposing floral waste into all sorts of art pieces from wreaths to busts of heads, all in pre-loved flowers and often with a vintage flair. The enjoyment of creating this art, as well as the pleasure of seeing one of her pieces in its forever place, was what really motivated her to keep going. 

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Bernadette Ross 1 Aotearoa Artist Magazine

Bernadette Ross

Bernadette Ross Aotearoa Artist Magazine

RARANGA HARAKEKE

Gaining a Bachelor of Māori Art between 2010 and 2013, at Te Wananga O Aotearoa was the solution for Bernadette Ross after she sustained permanent damage to her spine from landscaping.

Bernadette adores working with plant material. “After visiting the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, UK, when I was a younger mum, I was drawn to the woven artefacts on display. After 18 years in the UK I returned to NZ with my family and the journey into Raranga began eight years later.” She feels very privileged to live both by the sea and bush, claiming the inspiration is all around!

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Ninette Kruger

Ninette Kruger-aotearoa-artist-the-nz-artist-magazine

PROCESS AND PURPOSE

Born in South Africa, Ninette Kruger has always enjoyed being creative and explored different mediums until she discovered pewter embossing in 2004.

She taught herself the basics from an instructional book, and later attended a more advanced  techniques workshop at a pewter studio  in Johannesburg. Since then , she has been focused on refining her technique and thoroughly enjoying metal embossing as a hobby. “I started out with a career in the food and hotel industry, which I absolutely loved, and completed my MBA in 2006. I quickly realised the corporate world was not for me, and set out to carve out a creative career for myself. I immigrated to New Zealand with my family in 2016 and during lockdown 2020, I attended an online artist masterclass that changed my world.”

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Kaleb Smith

BLADESMITH

Kaleb Smith has had no formal training and is completely selftaught, drawing all his information from trial and error and also from the internet. “I’m a builder by trade and was just playing at making things, and then these things started selling faster than I could make them! I decided I may as well give it a shot and with the support of my partner, left my carpentry job and never looked back.”

The freedom to enjoy his hobbies and live a lifestyle worth living, rather than working himself into the ground doing a job he wasn’t happy with, has made everything worthwhile. He is not sure what drives his creative streak as an artist but likes just doing things and making things that are hard to achieve and hopefully haven’t been done before.

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Laura Buchanan

Laura-Buchanan-aotearoa-artistTHE POTTERY PLACE

Switching between studio pottery and ceramic sculptures Laura Buchanan, also known as Lulu, has moved around New Zealand quite extensively, but has now settled in a small seaside community, near Whanganui. She introduces herself to us and tells us her story.

I started making clay sculptures about 15 years ago, while living at Muriwai Beach. My husband was a paramedic, so worked nights regularly. I’d get our two young daughters, Maddie and Pippa off to bed, then spend my evening creating with clay. The femine figures which were formed, related to that maternal stage of my life. Without access to a kiln I’d make silicone and plaster molds of the clay forms, to later cast the sculptures using concrete. 

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Uriel Tian

uriel_tian-aotearoa-artist-the-new-zealand-artist-magazine-

INSPIRATIONAL FANTASY

Growing up in Barcelona, Spain and watching fantasy films filled with amazing creatures, Uriel Tian found the 1990s and 2000s a golden age for fantasy films. He was absolutely delighted to find the world he could create just using his imagination. This made him realise that he could do something like this and he began to direct his life toward becoming an artist. 

“I studied Practical FX (A practical effect is a special effect produced physically, without computer-generated imagery or other post-production techniques) for the film industry in Barcelona in THUYA Academy in 2012, and then I began my Sculpture degree in 2014 in La Llotja Arts School in Barcelona.” Loving the feeling he gets while creating and the freedom that comes with it, Uriel knows he can challenge himself to become better and better. “I like to have dynamic projects and I feel I could never get tired of working. That also makes me understand how powerful it is to pursue your goals and dreams.”

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