Hawkes Bay artist, Kate MacKenzie, is a local national treasure. Not only an amazing surrealist painter with gallery representation New Zealand wide as well as in Sydney, she is also an award winning wearable arts designer, even taking out the top award the first year she entered. MacKenzie has an impressive national and international reputation, her unique paintings are held in private and public collections around the globe.
MacKenzie has a strong interest in the environment and other political issues that have impacted life for New Zealanders particularly, and humanity more broadly. Both her portraits and her landscapes have elements of a montage, bringing together emblems of her thoughts and concerns for the world, including changing paradigms in societal beliefs and mindsets. Her work often illustrates the journey towards environmental awareness with subtle reference to changing technology.
Kates recent series of fragmented portraits are a natural progression from her experimentation with 3D portraiture using rope or cable-ties. These new paintings are almost 3D in themselves using a thick application of oil paint with both brush and palette knife. They represent and connect to a deeper personal level of MacKenzies' life, but also reflect the lives of many around the world with the current events. They represent a break in routine and thought processes in order to reset and reconfigure, to adjust to a new way of thinking. “Human Adaptation”
MacKenzie has been a two time finalist in the New Zealand Adam Portraiture Awards, Hawkes Bay Review and EAST Art Awards to name a few, and was the Supreme Winner of the International World of Wearable Arts competition in 2014 and in 2022, and came 3rd and Runner up in her section for the years inbetween.