‘Celebrating our Night Sky’ Helen Campbell
I was holidaying at Lake Tekapo when we were given the criteria for the exhibition including the theme of Aotearoa. The amazing star studded night sky, with the stunning milky way immediately became my inspiration for this piece. Later as I was cutting slate and gathering the pallet (of anything that glistened !) it was the time of Matariki so if you look closely, Matariki is there. The 20 * 20 piece of MDF (substrate) looked so small, I did wonder how I could achieve the look I wanted.
‘Te Whaea o te Motu (“Mother of the Nation”)’ Dessa Bluu
Dame Whina Cooper ONZ DBE, became joyfully wedged into my heart as I reminisced over an unforgettable year; 1975 when she led the hikoi (the symbolic march) from the top of the North Island to the bottom. This glass mosaic artwork I’ve created is a tribute of a remarkable Maori kuia, draped in her kahu huruhuru and pinned to it, her honorary DBE medal. Dame Whina Cooper, conveyed courage, believed in her cause and above all, loved the land of Aotearoa and its people. “The seed I would like to plant in your heart is a vision of Aotearoa where all our people can live together in harmony … and share the wisdom from each culture” – Dame Whina Cooper 1895-199 (20 * 20 cm glass mosaic on a wood substrate, prepared for hanging)
‘AA TE ORO - Aotearoa all jumbled’ Anne Bowden
We hold up many of our famous icons to the world, saying: “look at our beauty, our wilderness, our fresh kaimoana. Look at our kiwi, our kereru and the cute little tui!”. What we wear on our sleeves to show the world is, however, made of a different cloth to what we have hidden in the back of the closet. The Aotearoa that is presented to the world, the clean and green beauty where everything is good, is just our best side of a deeper, more jumbled and mixed up society. The other side of the cloth has pollution, poverty, racism, suicide, and more, which resonate through our society. We are still in a jumble and are more than the icons we represent. China and tinted thinset on Marmox . "Oro" is Maori for resonate, echo
'The Tuis’ Pantry' Sandy Miller
My love of our beautiful native birds amongst their colourful food source was the inspiration for my mosaic. I have used a ceramic tile as a substrate with iridised glass, beads and paua pieces. Black and pale blue grout was used to highlight this.
‘NZ All Sorts’ Elwyn Scott
Remember that bowl of lollies and struggling over what to choose: blackballs, jaffas, liquorice All sorts, spearmint leaves, gobstoppers, aniseed balls, liquorice sticks ... Such a big decision ! And rolling those jaffas down the aisle in the movies. Hugely fun times. Mounded up with thinset. The beautiful plate is a rare find in a second hand shop.
‘She’ll Be Right!’ Joanne Luker
Faced with trying to come up with a mosaic design to the brief of ‘Aotearoa’, ‘She’ll be right’, I thought, and there she was! I used broken shards of New Zealand made pottery for her dress (incorporating black & ferns) from my finds collection. She insisted on the huge black glass earrings to complement the old lid ‘hat’ found in the bush. I enjoyed cleaning up a few beaches to make the background of mountain daisies and added some Coromandel gold. Medium: A mixed media mosaic assembled from an old broken millefiori style mosaic brooch, found china shards, old ceramic doll parts, vintage glass buttons, glass blobs, paua and gold smalti on an 200 x 200mm MDF Art Board.
‘Estuary’ Jackie Strickland
This work is inspired by childhood memories of summer holidays at various beaches in the upper North Island and at Great Barrier Island. Estuaries were always a fun, safe place to play and the water always seemed warmer than that of the ocean. The sand was always soft and could be long flat stretches or tussocky dunes. Made with smalti, fused Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle glass, shell, cullet, frit, glass tiles, beads and stone.
‘Male Puriri Moth’ Maria Middlebrook-Wells
I chose to mosaic my favourite moth which is also New Zealand’s largest. The Puriri Moth is part of the Ghost Moth family, found only in the North Island. Moths generally go unnoticed and there is little public interest in them but these insects play an important role in the ecosystem providing food for native bird species and can act as pollinators for plants. The female Puriri Moth has a wing span of 150mm and is usually green with a dark brown or black mottled pattern on the forewings whilst the smaller male’s wing span is only 100mm and is generally green with a white pattern. Other colours documented have been golden and pink to brick-red scarlet and even albinos. Glass and glass tiles on 200 mm round Plexiglass
‘AOTEAROA – Encompasses so much, so many images and thoughts’ Jennie Cooper
Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand, beautiful, Māori, multicultural, mountains, adventurous, rainforests, sporting, lakes, volcanoes, beaches, Kiwis, farmland, friendly, green, outdoors, peace, relaxation, native flora and fauna. Many images of New Zealand life and culture are now represented in contemporary emblems known as Kiwiana. I have chosen a butterfly as my subject for the theme Aotearoa. Butterflies can be a symbol of spring, the impending summer, freedom and happiness. The 1 cent Red Admiral Butterfly. One of a set of six stamps and part of the 1970 Definitives Stamp Issue. Designed by Miss Enid Hunter. Although a minimalistic piece, it is my representation of a design and an era that appeals to me and a wee reflection of AOTEAROA. Materials are ceramic, a hint of shimmer and dichroic glass.
‘Sure To Rise Kowhai’ Sian Steward
This piece represents optimism ever prevalent in Aotearoa. A nod to our past, the classic Edmonds baking powder tin’s vibrant rays coming from our beautiful spring Kowhai blooms. The shards of mirror making up the sun’s rays add a reflection of ourselves and our affirmations. Be confident, everything will be OK! Made from recycled ceramics, stained glass and vintage mirror glass on acrylic. 20 x 20 cm. Suitable for outdoors.
‘Aotearoa: Perfect. Not Perfect’ Ellie Fijn
The idea behind this piece is the gratitude I have for being in Aotearoa as the world implodes around us. I feel sad for those who see only NZ’s imperfections. In this case the symmetry of the piece is interrupted by the incursion of the red smalti representing the imperfections that in reality have a beauty of their own. Materials Used: Kina, Sea Spines, smalti and gold tiles.
‘Welcome Home’ (Nau mai ra) Andrea Green
The famous Egyptian Pyramids were said to be used as death burial tombs to await the soul’s resurrection into the hereafter. The top of the pyramid representing the sun and the bottom, the earth. This Aotearoa pyramid though … represents life, not death… Creating this mosaic has been part of my healing journey through grief - life amongst nature, filled with radiant uplifting colour, ladybirds, berries, daisies dancing in spiky grass, and swaying kowhai flowers. Fat lazy caterpillars nibbling leaves on trailing vines ….a cocoon, a caterpillar and finally a magnificent butterfly. A vibrant cycle of life! I released the monarch from the confines of this garden to fly free. The total Monarch life story is told on other sides of the pyramid. My five brothers and Dad died of cancer, my sister and Mum from heart …I hope their spirit will be peaceful and free in this garden. ‘Welcome home (Nau mai ra) See, I made a space for you now’ Wood substrate, Medium: Wood, Stained Glass, Clay, Paint and Wire
‘The Cat in her House’ Sharon Pine
The theme of Aotearoa resonates to me as ‘home’. I spent many years living on the other side of the world and always felt I had reached home as soon as I boarded my Air NZ flight and heard the pilot's kiwi accent. Mosaicking an accent would have been quite the challenge so I chose another subject - my late cat, Furry. For me personally, a house isn’t a home without a cat (or two) scampering about the place. Furry was my constant companion for over 14 years and she spent many an hour supervising while I got to grips with my then newly discovered passion for mosaicking. Her unusual markings and the contrast of her black and white fur make for a striking combination. ‘The cat in her house’ is stained glass on a Marmox substrate with a tinted thinset background.
‘Stamp it out!’ Rowena Rooney
While growing up in Aotearoa, I used to collect stamps. I remember our local post office which was a brick building that still exists today but as a different business. They used to have little stamp machines outside on the wall. In the 1970’s a series of stamps came out that celebrated our New Zealand butterflies and moths. I remember putting either 1c or 2c coins in the slot and it would disperse the amount of stamps you paid for. I would love to acknowledge the artist who created this design that I have recreated in ceramic tiles, unfortunately I cannot find their name. I wanted to create something that NZers could recognise and recall using - a celebration of stamps. The perforated edge of a stamp lent itself really well in adding a different edging. The ceramic tiles are built on top of the MDF so it creates a 3D effect. MDF wood, white acrylic paint, ceramic tiles. 200 * 200 mm.
‘Kereru at Sunset’ Sharon Wilson
A gentle collision of thoughts produced my mosaic, but at its genesis is `loss’!!! I said goodbye to my canine companion of fifteen years on July 22nd. Feeling `gutted’ and concerned about my quality of life without Bennie, I began to think about what in life l had that would be as fulfilling, as the connection to my dog. Meanwhile the backdrop to this process were thoughts of what l might mosaic for the upcoming online exhibition, when l received a condolences card from a friend, sporting this image! The image touched me with its lush forest and Kereru standing proud. l then began to explore more about Aotearoa’s indigenous bird and found what an important role it played in our land’s wonderful forests. l found the Kereru spreads the seeds of native trees by what passes through them. Kereru is a regenerator and maybe this is what drew me in. I too was attempting, in a different way of course, to regenerate my life, to sow seeds on different pathways in my life and to grow something new and fulfilling. Glass, China, Polymer clay, on mesh and wood.
‘Of course, it’s a Kiwi!’ Marg Shaw 2020
As an Aussi, of course I have lots of thoughts about the place over ‘the Ditch’ – Aotearoa. That’s where the Kiwis (both birds and people) live. I’ve been there twice but still struggle with some of the wonderful place names. The word is used by us, with the ease of familiarity, with affection but sometimes also with frustration as when the All Blacks beat the stuffing out of our guys…again. Of course, cricket and women’s netball create some balance. But sport is just sport and we mostly stand together – after all, the rest of the world can’t tell our accents apart anyway. 20 x 20 cm was way too small to do a Kiwi footballer, so I chose the easier option. The substrate is wedi board, with glass (fused and raw), black china, slate, stainless steel strips, Apoxie Sculpt and thinset. AOTEAROA
A challenge for entrants and voters both!
Viewers enjoyed the vibrancy, colour, concepts and metaphor, originality and choice of materials but often found themselves in a quandry when it came to making a decision. One viewer commented that it was “Real New Zealand stuff. Getting to the heart of the nature of New Zealand…really important art.” Echoed also in the observation, “whilst appreciating the originality & happiness expressed in the work” it was noted that there were some dark hidden messages. Our winner is Helen Campbell for ‘Celebrating our Night Sky’
Viewers comments. “I commend this work for such an original theme and the milky way is captured just as it looks down there.” “I love the use of materials and I believe it will catch the light in so many ways and I just want to keep looking at it.” “I think this piece is just lovely and brought back some wonderful memories of when I was a kid, living in the middle of the bush, miles from anywhere and no artificial light, lying in my bed at night with my curtains open and looking at the night sky. To this day I will often find a darker place to go and check it out still.”
The prize is one year’s free membership of NZMA Inc
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