Harakeke (flax) and other natural New Zealand fibres are my main inspiration.
I have a traditional slant to my weaving, studying Maori art and design has greatly influenced my work. But I also find it exciting to create in a non-traditional style that I have never seen before. I am mostly inspired by the innate natural properties of harakeke, its varying natural colours and particularly working with the muka (fibre) it contains.
A creation might never sell and people might think it’s ridiculous or crazy, but when you get lost in the act of creation you’re convinced it’s the best thing - designing in my head often keeps me awake at night! The next day the same idea might still be incredible, or it might just fade away, but I really enjoy and thrive on my creative process.
In 2017 & 2019 I had the opportunity to collaborate with 70 national and international artists at CollaboratioNZ, all working with different materials (wood, metal, fibre, paint, glass, print, drawing…), on crazy projects over one week, it really pushed me out of my comfort zone. They were truly amazing experiences, both for my own art practice but also to open my eyes to other people’s processes and materials.
I now focus on myself as an artist and my artistic process, it has been difficult to think of myself as an artist not coming from an art background. I always felt that people had expectations about what that meant and I was always dissatisfied and critical with my output. The key I have found is to learn to be happy with what you do, enjoy the process and you can create amazing things. I’d like to be judged for my creative soul, not just a producer.
Am I the best weaver? Absolutely not. Will I ever be a master weaver? Probably not. I’m just trying to find and enjoy my creativity. For me it is about finding my own happiness with what I have, and to stop comparing myself with others. It’s about sharing art, having fun, trying to take those little things that life offers and find the joy in them. Flax weaving is so satisfying on so many levels, it keeps me physically fit and it’s a continuous path of l learning about Te Ao Maori (Maori world view), spirituality and self. When I didn’t create I didn’t know that deep feeling of satisfaction, it’s only now that I feel at peace with my ‘inner self’.