— Ryder’s and your own work seem to bounce off each other naturally, collaborating at times. Does your relationship inform your work? And, if so, in what ways?
Ryder and I met at Art School over six years ago. He was 19 and I was 21! I was thinking this morning that, from that very first day we met and for every day since, we have been together working side by side- our desks within sight of each others, stopping for cups of tea and long conversations about what we are working on. The first thing we collaborated on was a piece of wood that Ryder found and turned. He turned it into a beautiful shape that stood alone like a small column. He gave it to me and I painted it with a thin layer of stain that I had made by crushing lavender and saltwater, tracing the wood grain and turning it pale lilac.
I think we have always been excited by each other’s sensibility, the differences as much as the connections between them. We have a shared awareness and a deep draw toward similar things. This shared ground extends, most importantly, to the way we want to be and live in the world, to live with grace and intention. We collaborate both knowingly and inadvertently through proximity, conversation and enthusiasm for each other and what we make.
— The same could be asked of your relationship to NZ. What do you feel the NZ environment serves you or your art practice that you could perhaps not find elsewhere?
The older I get the more and more I feel connected to New Zealand and to its land. It is a very blessed place and the beauty that surrounds us here forever blows me away. There is something completely freeing about living on a remote and isolated island that feels safe in a way that I haven't felt in other places in the world. Similarly, Ryder was born and grew up in Hawaii on the island of Kauai, which is the most isolated landmass on earth. For me there is an innate connection to the ocean and land by living on an island and within a pacific culture. This week we drove up north and stopped at a Marae. There were school children there having hangi (a traditional Māori method of cooking food) for lunch and a display of the most beautiful kete (woven flax baskets) that the women had made. It was very touching to be welcomed into such a scared space, to witness ritual that has been passed down through generations of Aotearoa and see these traditions being celebrated, honoured and shared.
— What ideas or concepts do you find yourself gravitating towards this year? What sort of feelings are you experiencing or what questions are on your mind?
I want to become more essential: to seek clarity, to be more intentional with my time, to expand my capacity of doing. This year, I want to return to a more intimate way of object making, to find space between projects and for things to stand up on their own. I want to work with focus and ease, with graciousness and energy!