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Natalie Walker is 38, part Maori/European living in Nelson, located on the South Island of New Zealand.

She is a mum to Milan who’s 10 yrs old and her dog Beau.

I studied art and interior design at the Design and Arts College of NZ when I left high school. My workshop/studio is at my property where I live so I can create pieces around my health I suffer badly from Endometriosis and other health issues. Creating art and making jewelry from a local stone I find in our rivers. This is the biggest reason to carry on. Creating is such a great outlet for this. I’m a contemporary artist proud to be Maori and to be able to hunt for local stone greenstone/garnet cut it open on my saw and replicate this in my resin pieces I finish with wrapping copper around the outside. I have exhibited all over New Zealand and have exhibited in the affordable art fair in Melbourne Australia which I sold my entire collection. My dream is to reach a further audience and show them a little part of our beautiful stones in both creative outlets of my work.

Hello Natalie! How would you describe your art to people? Contemporary with a cultural entity You are part Maori/European and you live in New Zealand. How much is your work influenced by your Maori/European background, and how has moving to New Zealand, if at all, influenced your work?

Natalie: I have lived here in NZ since I was 6. Both parents are Kiwis. Dad Maori and Mum European. A huge influence culturally has been from my love of the river, connected to the land and water. Which Maori people treasure as a part of them.

What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?

Natalie: The most challenging part would have to be monitoring the temperatures for the resin to go off, I’ve set up a resin tent inside my workshop which has made a huge difference by trapping the heat. Tell me more about making jewelry from a local stone I find in our rivers.

What is that process like? How do you know when you’ve got the right stone for your art/jewelry?

Natalie: The process for me is just natural I hunt in all the rivers here in our area and the stone finds you more than you find it. We have beautiful Pounamu (greenstone) and garnet here when I cut them on my saw and start working the stone it is the most incredible feeling.

How has your style changed or evolved over the years?

Natalie: Since I’ve embraced my cultural identity and discovered my whakapapa (Genealogy). With my love for the river, I have turned my resin art into more than a cultural identity it’s a part of my life and my jewelry making.

What is your most recent piece of art that you have enjoyed working on the most?

Natalie: I recently did a commission that was 1200 diameter made to look like Pounamu (greenstone) that’s a huge space to cover and get exactly right, the client sent pictures of the piece up in her lounge saying she was in love, you never get sick of hearing that and it’s so nice when clients take the time to message you that.

What is a day of working like in your home studio? Do you have any rituals that help you get motivated or in “the zone”?

Natalie: Every time I go down to the studio and start resining or carving I have to listen to music especially love listening to Tash Sultana she gets me in the mood with her soulful voice and skills.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Natalie: I was away down the west coast of the South Island in NZ staying in an air bnb, I meet this couple from Auckland NZ, I got talking to them and they ended up commissioning me the first one I had done. Once completed they sent me the payment with two boxes of different vino. I’m still in contact with them. That moment meant so much to me and gave me the courage to further my art.

What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?

Natalie: Galleries, art shows, and social media following.

Are there any upcoming shows or workshops we should know about?

Natalie: Im hoping to broaden my art to more international buyers. I have three Art shows around NZ in 2022 and hopefully more.

What’s next on the horizon for Natalie?

Natalie: To keep producing unique work unlike anyone else’s and to focus on marketing it to the world.

To learn more about Natalie and her art, please check:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Thank you!

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