Why woodblock printing and especially why Mokuhanga?
~ I’ve had a fascination and appreciation of things Japanese since an early age – I remember loving Japanese animation and the Ninja television show “Shintaro” as a child. I didn’t know it was from Japan, but I knew I liked them!
~ I have always appreciated and been excited by the imagery, colours, compositions and flatness of Ukiyo-e
~ Mokuhanga combines my passions for traditional skills and material craftsmanship with the versatility and freedom of the medium
~ It has been and continues to be an exciting challenge to master the variety and complications of the technique
~ I love the inherent beauty of the materials and tools – Washi has its’ own warmth, softness and lustre that is retained in the process and the tools and equipment are simple, constructed from natural materials with beautiful and functional design.
~ The variety of approaches and possibilities are truly inspiring!
Since childhood I’ve loved art and making art. I remember one of my first days at school drawing a car. I put in all the details I could visualise clearly.. door handles, bumper bars, headlights and panel trim, swept up wheel arches, tyres and hubs.. I looked at the drawing the boy next to me was drawing, it looked like a potato! I thought to myself “he mustn’t be able to see a car properly.”
I didn’t know until later that the skill of observing and recording in art was a gift that not all people had or developed.
I’ve always thought of myself as an artist and maker and believed I could create anything. Whether I could or not is a different truth, but the idea sustains me as an artist.
After high school I entered art university, however finding it difficult to fit the mould, and although I produced good work, it was failed. I embarked on creative pathways that included continuing with fine arts of painting and drawing, sculpture, metal engineering, smithing and welding, woodwork including guitar repair and toy-making. Later in New Zealand, I found more amenable tertiary environments and eventually achieved a Masters Degree in 2002.
I’ve made art and other creative objects all my life and early on as an adult focussed on oil painting. My imagery was contemporary and I’ve always been somewhat of an upholder of tradition when it comes to the craft and materials of art making. I produced many large artworks, however I moved to a much smaller house with no studio and my adventures with woodblock printmaking began!
At first I produced works with Western techniques and materials but it wasn’t long before I aspired to learn the Japanese technique and began a period of self-study. I made a lot of mistakes and spoiled a lot of expensive paper. I feel very fortunate to spend two years living in Kyoto and studying with Richard Steiner. The experiences I had there have changed my life and opened new possibilities for me. Having a highly experienced practitioner and skilled teacher was enormously beneficial, with a few words or short demonstration I could quickly learn what was going wrong and improve my skills.
I feel immensely grateful to the generations of artisans who have perfected and shared the techniques of mokuhanga, and to the teachers and artists in Japan and other countries who share their work and experience.
“Since 1992 I have produced many hundreds of artworks in a variety of media, which have been purchased for private collections in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Europe and America. Since 2005 I have concentrated on Woodblock Print, especially focussed on developing visually complex images using the Japanese printing technique, Mokuhanga.
After training in Kyoto, Japan, and being granted a teacher’s license, I returned to Australia in 2014 and established the Australian Mokuhanga School with the aim of making this fascinating and versatile technique available to creative people in Australia”
Resume - Selected Exhibitions and Events
2015: Robots in Search of Meaning, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Victoria, Australia
2014: Far Island, Etch Gallery, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
2010: Inner Flame, Woodblock Prints, Studio 4 Gallery, Marcoola, Queensland
2007: 6 Degrees from a Monkey, Hastings Community Arts Centre
2007: Time Will Tell, Woodcuts, Wine Country Gallery, Havelock North
2004: Paraphrase, Wine Country Gallery, Havelock North
2001: The Invention that Changed the World, Chiaroscuro Gallery, Auckland
1998: Man-Talk, ASA Gallery, Auckland, and at Take 5 Gallery / Bar, Napier
1997: Question and Answer, Hawke's Bay Museum, Napier
1995: Portrait Drawings, Statements Gallery, Napier
1995: Painting for Pleasure, Hastings Community Arts Centre
1994: New Work, Chiaroscuro Gallery, Auckland
1993: Terence McKenna, Stairways Art Gallery, Napier
GROUP EXHIBITIONS - SELECTED
2016 Kyoto International Woodblock Association Award Exhibition, Kyoto, Japan
2015 Awagami Mini Print, Awaji, Japan
2015 Woodblock Prints, 2 person show, East and West Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
2015 Kyoto Hanga, Kyoto International Community House, Japan
2014 1st Japan Hanga Association (Kinki Branch) Exhibition, Kyoto, Japan
2013 Kyoto International Art Exhibition, Kyoto, Japan
2013 Awagami Mini Print, Awaji, Japan
2013 Mokuhanga Prints: Riding The Great Wave, J.F. Brush Gallery, St Lawrence University, New York
2013 20 Artists / 20 Views, J.F. Brush Gallery, St Lawrence University, New York
2012 53rd Japan Print Association Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan
2012 Kyoto International Art Exhibition, Kyoto, Japan
2011 Oni Goroshi, Kyoto International Community House, Japan
2011 Hanga Ryokou 3, Gallery Morning, Kyoto, Japan
2011 Kyoto International Woodblock Association Award Exhibition, Kyoto, Japan
2010 Group Show, Studio 4 Gallery Marcoola, Australia
2010 Richard Steiner Workshop Exhibition, Kyoto, Japan
2013: Kyoto International Art Exhibition, Chinese Consulate Award
2010: Accepted in Kyoto International Woodblock Association 2011 Award Exhibition
Telecom Regional Art Award, Montana Emerging Artist's Trust, Hawkes Bay
Review (multiple years), and selection in numerous New Zealand Award Exhibitions.
2013 Matsui Associates – Woodblock Print
2002 Principal Artwork for HortResearch Facility, Havelock North
2000 Hawkes Bay Charity Wine Auction Painting
2000 Howard Padman Offices Foyer Painting, Havelock North, NZ
STUDY AND QUALIFICATIONS
2011 – 2013 Japanese Woodblock Printing, Richard Steiner Touhanga School, Kyoto. Achieved Teacher's license and Teacher's Name 刀楽 Touraku.
1999 – 2001 Masters Fine Art, Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, Auckland
1993 – 1994 Diploma of Visual Arts, Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawke's Bay
1992 Craft and Design Certificate, Eastern Institute of Technology (H.B.Polytechnic)
1980 – 1982 Warrnambool Institute of Advanced Education - Fine Arts
1978 Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology - Fine Arts
2000 – 2003 Art Trail and Arts Sector Development
· Development of original Kidnappers Art Trail
· Member of Regional Strengths Strategy Group (Now Creative Hawke’s Bay)
· Development of Hawke’s Bay Art Trail
2003 – 2006 Weekly published Art Reviews for the Hawke’s Bay Today, New Zealand
2014 Established The Ausralian Mokuhanga School, teaching workshops and classes throughout Victoria, Australia
2013 Japanese Woodblock Printing, Keirunga Art Society, Havelock North, New Zealand
2009 – 2010 Woodblock Printing, Buderim Art Society, Sunshine Coast, Australia
1998 – 2009 Manager & Tutor of Mosaic Creative Space (Now Real People @
Mosaic), delivering broad Fine Art and Crafts based teaching for people with
disabilities. Visit www.mosaic.org.nz
2004 – 2005 Level 5 Tutor – Art Department, Eastern Institute of Technology - Painting
(part time and relieving)
2002 – 2003 Relief Teaching and Night Classes, Art Department, Eastern Institute of
1996 – 1997 Hohepa Homes, Adult Education, Painting and Drawing for people with
1994 – 1995 Napier Boys High, Adult Education, Oil Painting for Beginners.
Eastern Institute of Technology, Adult Education, Painting
August - November 2015 "Robots in Search of Meaning" Warrnambool Art Gallery, Warrnambool, Victoria
March 2015 "Mokuhanga" East and West Gallery, Melbourne