I am of Māori (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitāne) and half pākehā descent.
My māori heritage was and remains important in my life and in my art. After leaving school I studied Contemporary Māori Design at Wellington Polytechnic. It was there that I was honored to have my designs selected to decorate two frosted glass panels for the doors of the No1 Court in the new High Court building then being built in Wellington. They are still there today.
Meeting the man who would become my husband, and the subsequent arrival of my three beautiful tamariki (children), meant that for long periods there was no time or space for my paint and brushes. However, I continued over the years to paint and take art classes when I could. When my children became independent, it then gave me the time and space to paint full time in 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand.
My paintings are a reflection of my indigenous heritage that was gifted to me by tupuna (ancestors). As a child I loved the feeling of being inside our wharenui (decorated meeting house) and remember looking up to the beautiful painted kowhaiwhai panels and taking in each poupou (carved wall posts that represent ancestral figures) by touching them, but what fascinated me the most was the geometric patterns from tukutuku panels (ornamental traditional latticework) and they still do to this day, so when I started painting full time, I painted from tukutuku patterns and then this lead me to painting tāniko patterns, a uniquely Māori variation of whatu (twining) and is used to weave the colourful intricate borders of kakahu (cloak) and kete whakairo (patterned bags).
Being self taught, I researched each pattern before I started to paint and learnt there was meaning and sometimes mythology behind tukutuku, Tāniko and kete whakairo patterns, which made it more meaningful for me and a way to reconnect and discover more about te ao Māori (the Māori world) which is such an important part of who I am and where I come from… tangata whenua.