Penny Howard graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1995, her artworks are an expression of the artist's narratives of finding one’s cultural identity. Penny is of Maori (Te Mahurehure) Irish and Scottish descent. Her work explores memories of whanau, whakapapa and ancestral stories against the backdrop of colonisation and the Pacific Diaspora. The red thread in Penny’s work represents I Nga Wa O Mua, the Maori world view to take the past with us into the future for guidance.
Penny is represented by Whitespace Contemporary Art Gallery and her work features in many important collections in NZ, including The Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland City Council, Auckland Events Centre, Auckland University and Foundation North. Penny has been a finalist in the Wallace Trust Art Award, the Adam Portraiture Award and the Walker and Hall Art Award.
With a BA Hons in Fine Art from Trent University in England, painter Neal Palmer was encouraged to experiment, his practice evolving from painting to printmaking and then installation. Working as a prop maker and scenic artist in film and television after graduating Palmer lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Australia and in 1998 settled in New Zealand.//With a consistent interest in blending colour, pattern, texture and abstract forms Palmer has consistently developed and perfected the illusion of a photographic depth of field. Allowing his work to slip in and out of pictorialism and abstract flatness; creating a tension between the painting’s surface and the illusion of space. Aspiring for his work to be relational “on as many levels as possible” and passion for quality “mark-making that lifts the painting beyond the material world” is what drives this artist.
An aerosol and stencil artist with a fine art degree, Flox first made her mark on the inner cityscape of Auckland in 2003. Her trademark native birds, ferns and flowers magically transformed grey walls into vibrant depictions of the natural world. Flox swiftly expanded her practice into prints, publications, murals, graphic design, live painting, projects, workshops for both school and the wider public, collaborations, charity work and both group and solo exhibitions. With broad appeal, Flox is one of New Zealand’s most recognised contemporary artists. Since 2015 Flox has focused on honing new ideas, exploring other cultures and pushing her own artistic boundaries, resulting in a three month Artist Residency in Taiwan in 2015, and in 2016 a journey to Udaipur in India, to again expand her international audiences. Seen everywhere from Berlin, Hong Kong, New York, Taiwan and now India, Flox is certainly spreading her wings.
Tracey Tawhiao (Ngai te Rangi, Whakatohea, Tuwharetoa) was born in 1967. She is a multi-skilled contemporary artist who has studied and worked in a variety of fields. She is a writer, performance poet, filmmaker, qualified lawyer and practising artist. Her artworks convey the breadth of her experience and her position as a Maori woman in a European-dominated society. She is a regular contributor to Te Ao Maori Collective and her work has been incorporated into several Contemporary Maori art group shows.
The symbols Tracey uses in her work are sourced from Maori rock art and Creation myths. She has also created her own visual language comprising of fish motifs and other symbols that relate to her Matakana Island heritage. "My painting is much bigger than any politically motivated act. It’s closer to a spiritual reaction to a very soul less system. The soul has been crushed out of existence in every western framework, including religion. So my act of engaging my soul in this work is very liberating and very powerful to experience. That experience is the Art."