When did you first fall in love with creating Fine Art Headwear? Was there anyone or anything that inspired you or did you stumble upon it yourself?
W: This is a love story. I was born from a song bird, my Dad, serenading my mother with guitar in arms sitting in the fig tree over the back fence of 107 Norton Rd, Hastings New Zealand. When I was born my mother was studying interior design, perhaps that's why as kids we were forever rearranging the furniture around the house and dad, I remember, always drawing, building, carving or growing something in the garden. Creative is in our blood.
I was 30 before I sang in public, cutting my teeth as a singer/songwriter on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Kabi Kabi Country, at the infamous Sol Bar in Coolum Beach. In 2008 my girl Mary the 'Green Faery' asked me along as a street performer in the Children's section of Woodford Folk Festival as a bit of fun. I made my first wearable arts costume, her name was The Golden Faery, yellow being the only other colour not already taken.
Those years interacting with children and festival goers alike altered my perception of the world. The energy of street performance and adorning oneself had taught me so much and now after revamping her outfit for 4 years running she had also caught the eye of the Ringmaster.
Insert part 2 of said love story. It started with a dance of divine timing to the melodics of INXS, Never Tear Us Apart. My future husband was on tour with his band Love In The Circus, from Los Angeles. It was a fateful meeting, New Year’s Eve on a village street Woodford 2010-11. The following March I flew to L.A to visit Aaron/baby daddy who was working as a sound engineer in Hollywood at the time.
I remember the day he had to go into the studio and suggested dropping me off in Melrose Ave a shopping district with some palpable eye candy. As I meandered my way through op shops and shoe stores I was drawn to a dress shop where I found the works of Miss G, a headdress designer that rocked my world. I kept creating piece after piece and not long after I was standing in a room full of heads.
I was singing in a band at the time called The Whaledreamers, with Aboriginal Song and Dance man Bunna Lawrie of the Mirning People on the Great Australian Bight. We toured 4 years together as a family singing the Whale Songlines, traversing this powerful country. From the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land for the solar eclipse in 2012, Melbourne Didge Festival, to sharing 3 minutes of silence to packed out 14 thousand strong Amphitheatre stage at Woodford. I had come full circle all the while growing, gathering and now my girlfriends had been requesting some goddess bling of their own. It’s a constant metamorphosis for me, to give her wings and watch her fly.
Why did you choose to name the exhibition NEST?
W: The name came from my beautiful sister, Anaheke. She reached out to me last year “excited about possibilities for uplifting ourselves and each other as contemporary cultural artists”. It was her baby at conception, I am surrogate mother, she called to me and I answered with my next breath.
Can you reveal any exciting details about your up-and-coming exhibition, NEST?
W: It’s not what I thought it to be, the process of discovering the 'what' and 'where' of my nest so to speak. I mean, yes there’s more feathers than a chicken toupee, however, the layers go deeper still for me. Through the Womb and out into the world of light, as sound. My nest is a multilayered journey of self discovery. A sonic story, of all the places and peoples that have shaped me, nurtured me, built a sense of fierceness within me. I've been sharing this story of sound supporting Anaheke's weaving gatherings and I'll showcase a teaser live sound element leading into our opening night officially unveiling our nest. Along with sample recordings supporting the multidimensional visual projection throughout the whole month of hanging.
Closing night July 28th is our 3rd and final Full Moon, Full Immersive, Sonic Sound Journey Events for Nest. We both welcome you to join us. Bring along your roll outs, blankets and fluffy friends to experience all that we have discovered.
What can guests expect to experience when they explore the exhibition?
W: I'm hoping you feel a little delight on the heart for such forms, a slight movement in the breeze, a warm reclamation of timelessness.
What’s your favourite piece that will be showcased at the exhibition and why is it special to you?
W: So many favourites, almost like choosing your bridesmaid! Closest to my heart would be Flume, High Priestess Plumaddonna. Packed with hand dyed turquoise emu feather, fresh water pearls, pastel flowers and a set of hand painted wings shooting straight up from your crown chakra. I feel she embodies the regal, supernatural, transcendent energy that all women possess. If you’re looking for spectacular all you have to do is put her on, look in the mirror and fall in love with yourself all over again.
You’re collaborating with Anaheke Metua. Why did you feel working alongside her would be the perfect fit?
W: She's my soul sister, I could stop there. I knew taking this journey with her would be transformational. A safe space in which to sharpen, define and come out of the closet, and a chance to get under the nitty gritty all artists need to examine within their said self mastery. She speaks quiet volumes my sister Anaheke, Im talking about the divinely humble Manawahine (Spirited Woman). She's a woman confident when it comes to the calibre of her work, she is graceful and delicately grounded, with a clarity that shines through her weavings and life. I knew from the first calling it would be my honour to be part of such a creative force such as her.
Once this exhibition wraps up late July, what will be the next project on your agenda?
W: In a long term sense my heart has been focused on a documentary series with Aria Award Winning producer Simone North. A production started a few years back following a woman's journey through culture and reconnection.
More recently I have been invited to open and share workshops in another exhibition at the Regional Art Gallery in Logan Brisbane October 20th, called 'He kakano Ahau', translating to 'I Am A Seed'. A collaborative exhibit with other local Maori artists. The concept of 'He Kakano' is that of growth, development and expansion, the seed represents greatness. A person, like a seed is inextricably linked to generations who have gone and yet to come, it cannot be isolated or detached from those connections.
I'll be launching my web presence www.whaiacreation.com, and spending some quality mama time with my 14 month old baby girl Moana and my two teenage boys Jaggar and Keo. I'm also looking forward to continue creating in the recording studio with my darling Aaron Mason, thanks babe for all your loving support you’re the best husband and dad a girl could ever dream of, I love you!
NEST ~ Exhibition
~ Exploring The Ephemeral Nature Of Home ~
When: Saturday 7th July - Thursday 2nd August
Where: DUST TEMPLE, 54 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
OPENING NIGHT - Saturday 7th July 2018 @ 6pm