Happy New Year lovely people! I know I’ve been a bit off the radar for the past few months but hopefully this piece will explain my whereabouts and hopefully you can forgive me.
This year was definitely the year of commissions. I am truly grateful for the art collectors and gift givers who helped me keep a sustainable income, creating what I love to do. Seeing the smiles on people's faces when handing over a piece of art really does make me proud to bring joy and enrich other people's lives through art. To the people who purchased a piece or multiple pieces from me - Thank you!! Here are some compliments I've received from some proud owners...
"Morena Dom - guess what was the first thing I did when I woke up this morning? I absolutely love my new artwork, nga mihi nui ki a Koe - it is sooo beautiful! I can’t stop looking at it!" - Annette Lucas
"Thank you Dom.....it is stunning!!! One proud owner of one of your pieces!!" - Lynley Davidson
"Painting looks amazing! I love it! It's beautiful" - Emma Iremonger
You'll be interested to know I have some plans coming up this year which may have you glad you bought a piece early on. Watch this space for more details. I have also updated my website with a new commission form here for those still wanting to order a piece of art.
As the commissions were flowing I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some added exposure by exhibiting more, it also gave followers the chance to see my works in the flesh. Earlier in the year I was asked to be a part of a show called #Update which included artists of Asian ethnicity. Naturally, I said yes and later on found out I would get paid to be a part of it! That is not heard of in the art world, well... not to me any way. I would like to send a huge thank you to my good friend Cora-Allan Wickliffe who curated the show at Corban Estate Arts Centre, and for getting the funding to make that possible. She is an amazing artist herself and is exploring her Niuean heritage by reviving the lost art of Hiapo. Check out her work here.
I am yet to lock down a Solo exhibition but am proud to say I organised one of my own group shows called "Foliage" at The Grey Place Gallery in Grey Lynn. By doing this, I was able to exhibit my art alongside artist friends whose work I admire. Although the show was not as successful sales-wise as we would have liked, it was still great to work with an awesome crew rather than working in solitude.
Previous to this show, I was a part of the Mount Albert Grammar Art Show. This was a great success and a privilege to exhibit work alongside local artists I have been following via Instagram for a while now such as Tracey-Lea Morgan, Bec Robertson and Tanya Blong.
If you would like to keep updated on upcoming exhibitions or for one off special discounts please join my mailing list here.
Earlier in the year my art curiosity saw me flying to Hawaii to help out with an event called Pow!Wow! Hawaii. I have been following this event for quite some time and was amazed to hear they were keen to have me help out. Extremely talented artists from all over the world gather in the industrial area of Kaka’ako, Honolulu to beautify the building walls with murals, over the course of a week. Thanks to the founders Jeff Gress, Jasper Wong and Kamea Hadar for allowing me the opportunity to help out. I made friends with some of the most incredible people and felt like I've known them my whole life. The experience was more than words could describe and I am truly sad I won’t be able to attend again this year for reasons I will mention shortly.
Te Ara Reo Māori
Before I mention why I won’t be able to attend Pow!Wow! this year, I want to talk about my journey learning to speak Te Reo Māori. This year I started learning to kōrero Māori with Te Wānanga O Aotearoa in the hopes it would deepen my understanding of my culture and also add another layer to my art practice. I went in unsure of what I wanted to achieve exactly but by the end of the year, I was full of knowledge and authenticity that it was like I was meant to walk that path all along. I learnt to say my pepeha and whakapapa in front of the class and even kōrero Māori with a 5-10min speech at the end! Not only did I learn Te Reo but I also became part of another family. The journey wasn’t easy at times but with the help of the whānau I was able to get through it. My works in the 'Foliage' exhibition at Grey Place represented my learnings of that journey by way of my pepeha. I truly feel it has added another layer to my art and I am looking forward to what comes out of doing the next level this year.
Our Container House Build
Whilst it seemed hard at times learning to speak Te Reo, it didn’t even come close to the hard work it was to build our own home out of two 40ft shipping containers. Although it was a major project to take on, I am truly grateful to now have my own home and studio space that I have always dreamed of having, and it's fully off-grid! We officially have no power or water bills. It’s still a work in progress but it is by far closer to finished than it was. Here are some photos of my biggest WIP to date.
Pitter Patter of Little Feet...
Yes.... the reason I am not able to attend Pow!Wow! this year is because we are expecting a baby boy in mid-May this year! In amongst the chaos of building a home, learning a new language, producing new work for exhibitions, and completing commissions, my husband and I had also been working on another little creation of our own. Since getting married in February 2015 we had been trying to start our own family but to no success and for no known reason. However, after two rounds of IUI we are happy to say we are finally expecting a much wanted bundle of joy (and hard work I’m sure) that we are so ready for! It’s hard to imagine now, all the heartache we had over the past few years but it is a very real thing and I send my deepest sympathy to others going through a similar experience. We know the road is not smooth sailing from here out but we are so looking forward to meeting our little man. (p.s. Wight is my married name )
Although our little guy was very much planned it still threw a spanner in the works a little with my plans for my art journey. Back in September I was accepted in to The Big Idea’s Mentoring Programme as a Mentee. Only a small group of select artists from various disciplines were accepted in to the programme (out of a couple hundred) as funding is very limited for it, but luckily I was one of them. I feel very humbled and privileged to be a part of yet another family of like-minded individuals. I am absolutely thrilled to be mentored by Linda Tyler, who is an Art Historian Professor at the University of Auckland. I wasn’t too sure how she would be able to help me but instantly she was able to capture my current state and be able to recommend opportunities for me and put together a plan to work on this year. I won’t go too deeply in to the plans but some of them will include hopefully a Solo show or another small group show, definitely more School Art Show attendance, Art Awards, increased Social Media content and exploring the South Island market in either Queenstown, Wanaka or both.
So, there you have it, although 2018 was very different from 2017, I felt it was a very successful year. I am so so grateful for all the opportunities I was given last year and am looking forward to what this year will bring. The road less traveled is not always the easiest but it is soooooo worth it in the end. Wish me luck for the year ahead and I look forward to taking you on yet another art filled journey with me again!