Tell us a little about the exhibition and the inspiration behind it.
“Little Ladies & Likely Lads” Is a collection of my paintings and Ceramic tiles based on vintage fashion illustrations from the 1950′s – 1970′s.
What is it about vintage fashion illustrations and advertising that you are drawn to?
Fashion illustrations have always appealed to me, I love the quirky poses and amazing dresses. I like the idea that if you wear this outfit you too can look and feel as glamourous, fierce and confidant as these ladies look. A fantasy world where we all have perfect hair, flawless skin and impossibly tiny waists. When I recreate these people I like to think I give each image a new life. I name my ladies and play with colour and layout to tell more of a story within each painting.
How has your work evolved over the years?
“Likely Lads” is a new direction for me and I’m loving where it’s heading. Once I stared painting these lads I found I wanted to give each one it’s own character breakdown, from what car they drive to their jobs and hobbies. “Chad” for instance looks like a tough cowboy but he actually enjoys whittling toys for the local orphanage in his spare time.
You also have your images printed onto ceramic tiles, can you tell us a little about that process?
When my daughter was born 5 years ago I started to think about different ways to reproduce my art and I came across a small nz company that print onto ceramic tiles using dye-sublimation. After getting some tiles made I fell in love with the result and started selling them at fairs and in designer gift stores with a hook on the back as mini Littleladies. The response has been great and I’ve even had people buy a whole set to tile their bathroom.
You just had you 6th solo exhibition in Wellington, how did it go and what was the response like to the work?
My exhibition at Deluxe Cafe in Wellington has been great and is up until the 16th Oct. The Likely Lads are really fun and I’ve had lots of comments about it feeling like a dating show with each man appealing to different woman. I think the individual profiles are similar to the “perfect man” lists that we often compile in the back of our minds.
Do you have plans for your next solo show/body of work?
We have recently moved back to my home in Tauranga so I will be planning to have a show sometime soon up here and also somewhere stock my Littleladies tiles.
What advice would you give to young artists starting out?
I think the best advice I can pass on is actions speak louder than words. There are plenty of young artists out there that can talk the talk but if you stick to what you know and be as prolific as you can you will carve your own path in this world.
What is the big dream/goal for your career?
When I started out the dream was to do what you love for a living. I still believe this and although at times it is much more difficult to be self employed the freedom of creativity is wonderful. I would love to develop my skills more and also collaborate with some other artists.
What does the term Naturally Spirited mean to you?
Naturally Spirited means to me the inner drive that we all have to create, to change things and to view life as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Little Ladies & Likely Lads runs until the 16th Oct at Deluxe Cafe in Wellington.