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Welcome | Nau Mai

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

Kia Ora,

Nau Mai to my first ever blog post! I hope this finds you safe and well, wherever that may be. As New Zealand goes back into lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m really grateful for the time to start my little side project; transferring my hand written notes to digital and publish some of the writing I’ve been doing over the last few months, about all things Art!

I’ve seen some really memorable works over the last few years and I’ve been lucky enough to go to some super awesome Art Festivals, events and exhibitions around the world. I’m also currently studying an online Diploma of Art Therapy and as a result of that becoming increasingly interested in psychology. I’m really excited to share the psychological benefits of creating in hope people can take something away they can apply to their own practice in whatever form that takes.

(Artist Name Unavailable) Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, June 2020

As part of a final assessment for Art Theory at college, we were asked to write a “Diary of Engagement”. A record of annotated exhibitions, works and shows we’d seen in our time as students, or prior/separately to those we saw as part of class. As someone who had a huge insecurity surrounding my speech, lack of vocabulary and an intense anxiety-driven inability to articulate myself to a level I needed to, Art Theory classes always presented themselves as the classes I struggled with the most and dreaded. On a practical side in all my other classes, however, I was flourishing.

The DOE exercise proved to be a huge breakthrough. I was able to collect a lot of information because I get a lot of pleasure from physically visiting galleries and exhibitions. With the help of that project, I really thrived and I got the highest grade in all my theoretical work throughout my time at college. Which did wonders for my confidence.

There was a long period of time where I couldn’t pick up a brush or a pencil; in a time when I didn’t know how to deal with the grief I was experiencing. The thought of picking up a brush hurt too much. But I still found comfort in visiting galleries and seeing shows. In fact it saved me in ways, I knew Art would eventually be the path I was to take, but just not to rush it.

Nothing measures up to standing in front of a piece of artwork that speaks to you in your own reality; a totally unique experience. That’s what I’ve always loved... that noticeable physiological change in my body when connecting with a piece of Art, the rush of endorphins... what my eyes were drawn to, making sense of what was before me or internalising that feeling and making it an indescribable personal encounter. So, I realised it’s what I loved to do... to write about the Art and exhibitions I feel privileged enough to have seen. And I want to share them!

Having now partnered with a poet, writing is becoming increasingly more natural with his support. I am embracing this newfound freedom and abolishing my insecurities, one day at a time. I want to channel that towards sharing the Art world as I see and feel it. Share my encounters and connections with other artists. Share the stories of how their work came to be, give them the recognition they deserve and show that Art is so essential to our lives and moulding how we think.

My intentions have never been for financial gain, always just for leisure and stress-relief. I will disclaim that any contemporary works I write about are being done so with the knowledge and consent of the artist, or with the appropriate credit to the work because in a digital world it’s so easy for the creators to get left behind while the work moves forward. Naturally some don’t want it to be shared, which I totally respect and understand, but on the whole I’ve been very warmly received by the art community here and people here are looking for new ways to get their work out there.

It’s my dream to open an Art Community Centre. A place people can come to learn, to share, to grow… For people to come and try new things and embrace elements that could have a profound impact on their practice. To nurture the growth of emerging young artists and build their confidence as exhibiting and practicing artists. A space for people to expand their knowledge of Art and breathe new life into the New Zealand Art Scene. I’m hoping this blog can help contribute to that, laying the foundations so to speak.

Thank you for taking the time to read! I’m going to post something new at least once a week.. The next one will be about Art in the Park NZ! This has been their first running year around the country and I was straight there to the Auckland show in July. It was such a stimulating day and having the ability to converse with the artists so intimately was really special. Had some wonderful conversations and met some truly incredible people so I really want to share some of what I learnt that day :)

Libby x

115 views2 comments


Great reading. Thanks

Karin Lummis


Nice work Libby, looking forward to reading your thoughts on ‘Art in the Park/NZ’. MM

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