When did you first fall in love with sculpturing? Was there anyone or anything that inspired you or did you stumble upon it yourself?
AM: Ever since I can remember I have used my hands and imagination to sculpt natural materials into form – sand castles, hay houses, teepees, creek stone weirs etc. Growing up amongst the green rolling hills, towering coastal mountains and along the stony shorelines of Aotearoa, NZ has always been the greatest influence in my artful life. From these impressionable beginnings, the natural world has been a constant source of inspiration for the kind of art forms I’ve tended towards.
In 2005 I was taught basket weaving from a visiting weaver from Arhnem Land and have been developing my skills as a weaver, creating three dimensional form from natural materials ever since. Basketry has given me the foundations to create in 3D and more recently weave texture, colour and malleability of natural fibres into sculpture.
How would you describe your creative aesthetic as a Sculptor and Fibre Artist?
AM: Good question! I’ve never had to answer a question like this. Hmmm.... I love the colours, textures and sounds of natural fibres, the shapes, lines and curves of the natural world so I feel this body of work is aiming to bringing these two things into harmony through Woven Sculpture. The creative aesthetic is soft with colour and texture yet strong in design and form and I think it also has a whimisical kind of beauty. I feel this work is like a bridge between the worlds of the timeless oasis of tradition and a new born in contemporary art.
Why did you choose to name the exhibition NEST?
AM: About 4 years ago I came up with this idea and at the time I was trying to concieve a child which did not eventuate. Four years later and after lots of deep personal transformation I chose to revisit it as an opportunity for myself and others to reflect on the many homes (nests) we have had in our lives as individuals and how they shaped and influenced our core beliefs, values and perspectives on the world.
Since the conception of NEST the ideas have broadened for me and include my womb as a nest, my friendships as a nest, my ancestral lineages as a nest, my homelands as a nest, the place where I live as a nest... it’s endless and will be an ongoing inquiry for me as I prepare my (womb) nest for the next generation.
Can you reveal any exciting details about your up-and-coming exhibition, NEST?
AM: This exhibition is a collaboration between myself and Whaia (pronounced Fire) and will showcase our very bold and complimentary art forms. We have love and respect for one another and have deepened in our friendship and shared cultural perspectives as mana wahine (strong spirited women) throughout this process.
We are both emerging from years of a considered and diligent cultivation of our art practices and will share ourselves more intimately on Opening Night, July 7th. This will be an opportunity to experience the two of us together, representing ourselves as artists, custodians of culture, fearlessly expressing who we are which we are both excited about.
What can guests expect to experience when they explore the exhibition?
AM: I feel the energy from our work will be palpable and there will definately be an element of “I’ve never seen this kinda of work before”. I really do think people will be WOW’ED! I feel our work has it’s own living energy and when guests explore the exhibition there will be lots of opportunity for them to get up close and intimate with the creative energy flowing from the walls and ceilings. I’m really excited and would definately love to get feedback from people in our exhibition “guestbook”.
What’s your favourite piece that will be showcased at the exhibition and why is it special to you?
AM: Ooh I love your questions! Hmmm. I’d have to say “Sacred Place” is one of my favourites. About a week before I started weaving this one I was waking up each morning with the strongest feeling to give gratitude to the spirit of the land where I live and work, Bundjalung Country (Mullumbimby). So I would! I would give thanks, to the waters falling from the skies and flowing from the mountains, into the creeks, the rivers and out to the sea. I would give thanks for the sacred mountains, forests, soils, plants and fibres that I use to create with. I would give thanks to the animals that live here and it would go on and on like this for days. Each day more intricate details of places, animals, trees, plants, insects...and always ending in acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land, for their deep knowledge, spanning 10’s of thousands of years of taking care of country. This is a “sacred place” and I’m grateful to call it home.
You’re collaborating with Whaia. Why did you feel working alongside her would be the perfect fit?
AM: I have known Whaia for lifetimes it feels and in this lifetime for over 15years. After the birth of her baby girl, Moana, I visited them in their beautiful home up the Currumbin Valley. It had been awhile since I had seen her work so she took me into her studio to show me and, well I nearly fell over in awe! I was truly impressed with her magic, her bold beauty and her obvious creative talent.
So weeks later, I had been given the green light from Isla and John Wilson @ Hinge Gallery in the Dust Temple to exhibit my work, Whaia and her mahi (artwork) came to mind straight away. We have now spent the last 9 months carrying this “baby” together and learning deep and meaningful ways to stay connected, creative and consciencious as co-creators. It was a no brainer really and I always felt drawn and related to the strong and proud way she lived her cultural and intercultural values as a Maori woman living as a manuhiri (visitor) on this land, Australia.
Once this exhibition wraps up early August, what will be the next project on your agenda?
AM: Haha! Well firstly I will continue to run my Woven Art Workshops from my studio in Mullumbimby throughout each school term, 1st Saturday of the month and during school holidays. Then I’ll be flying to the Cook Islands with my Tāne (man) in September for a well deserved break . I’ll be returning late September where I will be facilitating a community art installation continuing from the theme of NEST in the Brunswick Heads Sculpture Festival September 28 -30th 2018 aiming for SWELL Sculpture next year. That’s as far as I’m keen to look for now. Thankyou so much your interest and support and great questions.
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