Spring has been blasting through the countryside with persistent W/NW winds and cloudbanks that seem to hover over the hills each day. (After all, this is Aotearoa, “Land of the Long White Cloud.”) It has also heralded the arrival of lambs, flourishing gardens and exploding pollen counts. Being surrounded by all this growth, change, and fertility spills over into my artwork. I was inspired to create a number of designs that reflect all this emerging life and renewal. The carving to the left is my interpretation of the ancient fertility figures that were found in a number of different cultures. It is a new take on those full-figured totems that seem to resonate with energy and power. We are looking forward to seeing the reaction to the new work as we head towards summer.
The past winter has also been a time of change and renewal for both Ann and me. The shifts have been on a personal level as well as with my work. We had a lot of downtime, including Ann’s lengthy recovery from some medical treatments, my artistic reflection, as well as kayak fishing, surfing, and orchard maintenance on my parents homestead. I spent much of this time reflecting on creative endeavors and we are both excited about the new aesthetic that has resulted from this process.
This kind of introspection keeps me engaged, pushing forward and creating new and dynamic designs. All of this translates into a dynamic gallery space (both retail and on-line) with evolving and changing works and layouts. I’m especially excited to announce that I have been able to focus on sculptural work, wall-mounted framed carvings, and perfecting my carving photography. All this work is on display at our gallery space at The Cargo Shed in Tauranga.
As we put more time into developing our personal and professional lives here in New Zealand, it becomes more and more apparent that the nature of a small, seaside town is very seasonal. Thus, we are on the lookout for ways to increase our market during the New Zealand winter.
One way to do this is through more involvement in local and national Maori and cultural events. Recently, a good friend asked for a carving for her daughter to wear during her Kapa Haka performance at a recent regional contest. These events are a celebration of traditional Maori performing arts. The blend of song, dance, and choreographed warrior movement (“haka”) is a vibrant and integral element of Maori culture and the younger generation (“tamariki”) is embracing it with enthusiasm and vigor. I was stoked to be able to add to the event in my own small way.
AND… Just a little teaser for our American friends… We have also been considering another winter-business-blues survival mechanism: a US summer art show tour! Keep your eyes peeled for more news in the coming months.