Nana set creative example
Gaining inspiration from life and landscapes on the Coromandel is a recurring theme for artists featured in this year’s Big Arts Day Out.
Cherry Estcourt talks to artist Nikky Seales about the Big Arts Day Out and Harcourts Art Challenge, and how these sorts of events are helping her creative pursuits.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by everything . . . the stunning environment of the Coromandel, songs, smells, emotions, the way a feather floats, the curve of a figure — I mean everything. Art has always been very emotive for me and this is portrayed in my work, be it a painting, carving or more recently my clay work.
Tell us about your influences ...
My earliest influence would have to have been my nana, she was the most creative, productive
person I ever knew, back in the days of “country women’s division” they would always come up with creative challenges — be it baking, floral arranging or some sort of craft, she always gave it her best. Her home was always full of projects on the go. Being a wedding cake maker, there was always sugar craft around. I simply adored her creations and I have gained a whole new understanding around a plaque I once owned which says: “Creative minds are never tidy”. Nor was her house, but oh boy you couldn’t help but be inspired when you walked in her front door. I wanted to grow up to be just like her, and in a way I have.
When did you come to Whangamata?
I moved to Whangamata in my early 20s, opened a candle and craft shop once my daughter started school. The gift shop and gallery went through many incarnations over the 23 years of owning and operating it, finally closing its doors three years ago as the well-loved (and missed) Budda Lounge. It was not an easy decision to make but the best thing I ever did, allowing more time to concentrate on my passion — art! I now work as a fulltime artist from home. What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a range of outdoor garden sculptures, each piece individual, this range will be released at the Big Arts Day Out. This is such a great show in conjunction with the Harcourts challenge, kicking off with a preview cheese and wine evening, sponsored by Whangamata New World.
Whangamata Artist Nikky Seales at work.