Amanda is a New Zealand based contemporary artist working primarily in the medium of painting. Her work extends ideas of abstraction, the landscape, and scale. Her work is included in private collections in New Zealand, Australia, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. In 2015 she was a finalist in the New Zealand Painting and Print Award, and long-listed for the Aesthetica..
I'm really happy to have this painting selected as a finalist in this year's Estuary Art & Ecology Prize! I entered a couple about the Tamaki Estuary and this one is called "Disturbance in the Tamaki Estuary. I'll write a bit about it below this image....
The exhibition is on at the Malcolm Smith Gallery, 35 Uxbridge Road, Howick, from 9th July to 17th August
Disturbance in the Tamaki Estuary, Oil and ink on 600gsm card
The estuary is a complex system of fresh water flow, tidal action, wind, and waves that change and impact its nature. The addition of nearby residential and infrastructure construction developments add a disturbance to the health of the estuary. It is an example of how our land is affected by the consumeristic approach to housing and infrastructure development in New Zealand.
This painting offers a turbulent image of an estuary struggling with the impacts of foreign matter into its ecosystem, rhythms, and processes. Structurally the painting is divided by a line that hints at horizon or edge, but both above and below there is confusion where brushwork jostles and pokes about with liveliness and agitation.
I made this painting after visiting the Tamaki Estuary and making notes and sketches of the wetlands, waterways, and sky, and how they were all tossed about by the wind on the day that I was there.
I was reminded of Jane Bennett’s writing on Vital Materialism, where she suggests things have a connected kind of relationship, this painting could indicate a new and complex relationship between the pollution being funnelled into the estuary and the natural environment.
Since the might Waikato is hosting the annual National Agricultural Fieldays, I thought I'd have a painting sale! Why not :) I'll hang a different work from Monday to Thursday in my gallery window in the Riverbank Lane, and post it here on my instagram page
If you come to the Riverbank Lane gallery, I'll be open from 10 - 11am Monday to Thursday, or you can contact me via instagram, or this website if you're interested in any of the work.
I'll kick it off with this luscious one from my Fiordland series
Refraction II, 700x900mm, oil on canvas, usually $2900, Fieldays Sale $1450
Hey, I've just finished some new paintings, these are two of them... I've been working from video and photographs I've taken in Fiordland and on Mt Taranaki, trying to get a sense of being in those landscapes. There are more details about them on my new gallery page They are both in my studio in the Riverbank Lane, if you're passing come by and see :)
Check out this drawing course called 'The Expanded Field of Drawing' at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London - I'm waiting in anticipation to see if my application has been accepted.... not long now...
I'm stoked to be part of the latest edition of the Art Ascent publication, with one of my paintings selected for a feature on the theme of happiness, along with 23 other artists from around the world. Check it out by clicking here for a link to the magazine website.
This is the work that was selected:
This painting talks about the interconnectedness of our bodies and minds, and how feelings of happiness can be a result of intentional thinking. Using a metaphorical comparison of landscape and the body, this work looks at places of inhabitation, and invites the viewer into a psychological landscape. Just like a landscape is a place of inhabitation, so the human body is a place of inhabitation for the human psyche. Skin and bone is what we are made of, our reality, our confines, our physicality, our ‘vehicle’. This physicality gives framework to our inner workings and encapsulates our ‘wairua’ (Maori – indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand - concept of spirit and soul). Thinking thoughts of gratitude affects the brain at a biological level by producing dopamine and boosting serotonin. Accompanied by challenging negative thoughts and practicing telling yourself the truth, your mind can give you feelings of happiness as a biological result of living in a human body.
What inspired it? What is its conceptual background and tone? How do you want people to feel after viewing/reading it?
I’ve used references to the coastal landscape of the west coast of New Zealand, and in particular Whaingaroa, Raglan. I’d like people to get a sense of a wild and moody place, pulsating with life. I’d like them to enjoy and soak in the beauty, celebrate its sensitivity, and feel invited in to the work and the place of inhabitation it represents.
I want this work to expose the underneath, the innerworkings, the raw state of human psychology by drawing metaphorical connections to the landscape.
How do you define your art/writing in terms of style?
My practice extends ideas of translation of memory or experience, and connection to place, through abstraction in painting. My work values elements of abstraction and action painting through the sensatory qualities of paint and surface treatment, the process of making the work, and intuitive and loose paint handling. It also draws from elements of gestural abstraction, in particular the ‘whole body’ activity in applying and removing paint in a manner that tries to support the memory of an experience or thing. The work is formalist in the treatment of light and shadow and perspective elements.
What techniques and materials did you use for this piece/series?
The work uses inks, compressed pigment and acrylic paint on 300gsm Britannia card. The large scale is also an important aspect of the work, as I needed to engage my whole body to move across it, and use broad loose mark-making techniques. Of course I’m working up close, and so I’m moving in and out of proximity to the work. This limitation gives a sense of spontaneity and loose-ness that enables the work to almost do its own thing, a process that helps to let a certain level of intuition to surface.
So I'm nearly all set up for the Arts Weekend - I've pulled work from my studio and made some new work - there seems to be a lot here! So I thought i'd throw it all into a Catalogue - if you're interested message me and I can send you a copy, as a bit of a prelude to the weekend.
Hope you can make it, but if you can't, let me know if there's anything you're interested in.
Here are some of my favourites...
When the rain comes in II, oil on canvas, 300x400, $450
When the rain comes in, 300x400mm, oil on canvas, $450
Exposed, ink & acrylic pigment & compressed graphite on canvas 600x750mm $2500 framed (beautiful grey box frame - by Emily at Framing House in Hamilton East)
Untitled landscape I, oil on canvas, 300x300mm, $380
This is a photo of the gallery wall in my new studio in the Riverbank Lane (298 Victoria Street, Hamilton). I'll hang new work every couple of weeks during the summer, and I'll be back working there full time from February. Please contact me if you're interested in any of the works.
The gallery space is called Living Room Gallery & Art Space - check out the website here