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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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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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Jordan Turner

jordan-turner-aotearoa-artistTRUE CALLING

At the age of 13, Jordan Turner’s foray into the fine art world was cut short by her family’s relocation from their home town of Cromwell to another country town. She’d only managed to have two private lessons. “My tutor handed me four pieces of paper and directed me to paint four faces without my brush leaving the paper. I feel like ever since that time, I have been mastering faces. He must have known that I was drawn to faces, as it’s exactly what I am drawn to now. The face and body and capturing the emotion, it’s just fascinating to me.” 

She claims her biggest inspiring factor to becoming an artist was when she was 16: “My Mum took my brother and I to the New Zealand Body Art Awards, in Auckland. That event left a lasting imprint and inspired me to research and then sign up and get accepted into studying makeup and film production, at the Design and Art College of New Zealand.” Jordan completed this certificate at the age of 20. From that point she furthered her skills by travelling and sketching her way around Australia and the UK, finally settling in Melbourne. “During this time I really started to focus on developing my creative craft. This involved leading various creative events, teaching workshops and displaying my artworks in galleries and art shows, throughout Melbourne.” 

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Toni Tittleton

toni-tittleton-aotearoa-artistREFLECTIVE SCULPTING

Having always been creative and taking as many art classes as she could at school, but knowing nothing about glass casting, Toni Tittleton studied glass production and design at Whanganui Glass School, graduating with a diploma in 2012 and specialising in cast and kiln formed glass.

Pleased to have completed her diploma by the age of 20, once she had completed her studies she had to think outside the box – “I was challenged with the question all students face - what now? My goal was to create art for a living, however. I had no money for materials or to set up a studio.”

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David Traub

Born in New York, USA, David Traub acquired a B.A. in Ceramics and Photography from the East Texas State University (now known as Texas A&M Commerce), and an MPhil. in glass from Stourbridge College of Art and Technology in Stourbridge, England. David lives in Whanganui in New Zealand and has blessed New Zealand with his masterful work.

After graduation, David became fixated on glass making and joined a Texas craft community where he set up his first studio. That was in August 1973 which was when he taught himself how to blow glass and there he remained for the following 12 years.

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Madison Rogers

madison-rogers-aotearoa-artistSACRED GEOMETRY

Having always enjoyed working with her hands and anything to do with crafts, by the time Madison Rogers entered high school, she knew she wanted to pursue a career that would allow her to develop and explore her creative skills. With her favourite subject at school being metalwork, she investigated career options that would embrace both her artistic side and her love of working with metal.

“It was around this time that I learned a friend of mine’s father was a jeweller and gem setter. This sounded like the perfect option for me and I pursued this with vigour.” She went straight from high school to study at Hungry Creek Art and Craft School, graduating after four years with a Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Jewellery. “The biggest motivating factor for me to become a jeweller was the overwhelming need to create. To have the skills and knowledge to turn raw materials and a concept into a functional, wearable, beautiful piece of jewellery that is not only meaningful to me, but also becomes something special and cherished by others. I love contributing to the meaningful moments in people’s lives - engagements, weddings, birthdays, graduations or anniversaries etc.”

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Angela Mole

Angela Mole - Aotearoa Artist

I was destined to become an artist - having drawn, painted, sewn and crafted constantly throughout my growing years. After gaining a History and English degree I became a primary school teacher, encouraging the children in artistic expression at every opportunity and displaying their art in every available space. I was commended for the ambience but warned that too many ‘hangings’ could pose a fire risk! Later I co-ordinated the installation of large permanent outdoor murals which met with approval. On retiring from teaching, once my family had grown, I was at last free to follow my own artistic journey.

I am largely self-taught but value the grounding and increased confidence attained by completing a diploma in painting in 2011. These days I feel compelled to create positive vibrant images. My brief as an artist is to “Focus on the beauty which is abundant in this world and thereby know peace” (Philippians 4:8-10, from the Holy Bible). One part of my inspiration is what I see as beauty, most often the smallest organic forms in nature - seeds, shells, eggs, petals and leaves, small beginnings from which greater things evolve. Equally important, is how I feel. I paint from the heart and am translating thoughts, words, poems and dreams into painted expression. I have an overwhelming desire to inject colour, truth and beauty into our environment, trying to counter the negative, dark influences pervading society. It’s about spreading a little happiness. Japanese style (the combination of minimalism and fine detail present in paper and silk design) influences my painting as do the swirling curves and clean lines from the Art Nouveau era.

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Karen Taylor

karyntaylor-aotearoa-artistBorn an artist, Karen Patricia Taylor has always had a fascination with the human form which is often an integral element to her work. Driven by an intrinsic force where her creativity finds a happy balance within the flow of her artistic making, her work speaks of the feminine amongst a myriad of other creative explorations. Her early life was spent drawing and making, often copying faces from comics, “pages and pages of them” until this grew to include the human form.

By the time she was in her late 20’s she began to work with clay, primarily cut and altered slip cast objects. Slip cast objects are created when liquid clay (slip) is poured into plaster moulds and allowed to form a layer, the cast is left on the inside cavity of the mould and taken out and altered or added to as required.

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Andrew Swarbrick

Andrew Swarbrik - aotearoa artist

THE HUMAN CONDITION

With very supportive parents constantly supplying him with art materials and encouragement, Andrew Swarbrick has overcome his physical disabilities to emerge as a very talented artist. Lucky enough to be using his talent every day as a tattoo artist, Andrew tells us his story.

I have been interested in art from a young age, and have been drawing for as long as I can remember. At age 12, I had a large operation to help alleviate some of the physical disabilities I was born with, which resulted in me being wheelchair bound for just over a year. As there wasn’t much to do in hospital in those days, my folks were constantly bringing me comic books to read. I promptly copied all of my favourite pictures from them and then pursued other artists books, which I also feverishly copied from, learning all the time. I didn’t fare well with art at school and am largely self taught. After school, I worked in various factories over the next six years or so, while trying to build a portfolio to go to university as an adult student. That portfolio landed me an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist.

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