Artist: Ruth Vaega
Dimensions:325 X 300 mm
Medium: Four colour stencils, spray paint and woodcut

Artist Profile

At 25 I began a new life at Canterbury SOFA majoring in Design with Printmaking. Quoting the first talk given by Head of Art, Ted Bracey, ‘the most disadvantaged people in NZ were beneficiaries, single parents, Maori or Polynesian, under 30 year olds’, I ticked all these boxes. In 1996 I officially received my father’s real name when I won a scholarship to attend the South Pacific Arts Festival in Apia. I taught Art for many years in Chch and Australia before moving to the Sth Island West Coast. I exhibit solely on the Coast and have been a working member of the Reefton Gallery since 2010 where I specialise in drawing and Printmaking. My work usually highlights social, political, psychological concerns, rather than being pretty pictures. I love the historical precedence for this in the art of Printmaking.

Artist Statement

The Hibiscus and Frangipani remind me of the Islands and in particular Samoa where my father was born – it is an ‘ identity flower’ for me. I was unable to keep my Hibiscus alive, but was delighted to have found these on a friends deck and was inspired to draw from them.

How I was affected

As I only exhibit in the Reefton Gallery, I continued to pay rent even though the gallery remained shut for 2-3 months. I continued to receive my part-time Teacher's salary from Buller High School although Zoom became my only contact with students, and my phone was invaluable for keeping contact with fellow artists, friends and family. Covid was a time when I was able to experiment with my art production and I produced several new works reflecting my response to the pandemic. It did inspire me, but now I look at the whole world as we realise what horror is unfolding for other countries and I feel fortunate that I was born in this one.

Contact the Artist
This item is for sale: $690