We are delighted to have art to offer from a new artist - Donna Summers. Donna is quite new to jade carving, but has an established and very interesting background that plays into her design and the quality of her work.
Donna undertook a carving apprenticeship with Ric Moor and you can see the influence that he has had on her design. We have a small selection of her work - pieces that stand out for their beautiful traditional design, and the very fine finishing touches that stamp her individually on each piece. Take a close look at the matau in particular - they are exceptional!
We will let Donna introduce herself in her own words below...
My name is Donna Summers, I was born and raised in the Far North of New Zealand. I grew up on a dairy farm my parents owned in a little place called Motutangi, which is about half an hour north of Kaitaia. I do not whakapapa Māori but growing up in a predominantly Māori location there is that cultural integration.
I’m half Filipino, half NZ-European. I grew up being accepted into the Maori culture where you are just treated like one of the whānau, with a big sense of culture and community. I have been carving for the last 18 months, learning from a couple of incredible carvers, Ric Moor and Kyohei Noguchi. As a child we were taught that pounamu is a precious taonga, a sacred gift that is passed down through the generations. While creating traditional motifs, I try to take inspiration from the location where I grew up, whether it was spending hours at the beach fossicking or out in the far north wilderness.
From 2008-2011 I studied at a prestigious art school in Auckland, Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design. I did a 4 year course to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts. During that time I was immersed in all different mediums of art (except for stone). Trying to find my niche and drive for passion, I ended up focusing on paper sculpture. I played with the concept of fragility vs the idea of an object being permanent or structurally sound.
In my final year I won the inaugural Eden Arts Schools competition which saw the top 4 art schools in Auckland, New Zealand compete against one another.
Donna's work reflects her formal training and she is now bringing to stone carving elements of her creativity developed through her work with other mediums.
Below are photos of some of the pieces Donna designed in paper for various art exhibitions. We are delighted she has move on to stone and 'wearable art'!