Paula Coulthard is a mixed media artist, combining fabrics and painting to produce artworks that have the presence of an object; however designed to be displayed on the wall.
Kina has just received Paula's new series titled Ika Moana. Ika Moana is a very old Māori name for whales and the English translation is Fish of the Sea. The series is inspired by the concept of Kaitiakitanga.
The traditional concept of Kaitiakitanga is part of a complex, social, cultural, economic and spiritual system that has been established through long association of Iwi and hapū with land and waters. To understand Kaitiakitanga is to have an understanding of a Māori world-view of relating to the world around us. It includes the conservation, replenishment and sustainability of the environment; it is about safeguarding the future.
Whales were hunted in New Zealand during the 1800’s, to the verge of extinction. They are now on the rise in numbers, but remind us that without protection these creatures, like so many other things in our fragile environment, could disappear. The series Ika Moana also refers to the cycles of the moon, stars and seasons. There is a hushed, contemplative quality to them.
Paula seeks her inspiration from the New Zealand landscape and history. “I am always watching the light and the way it changes the landscape. I am also inspired by early New Zealand art, by Maori and Pakeha, and especially the area’s where these cultures overlap”. Paula feels a deep connection to the land. She loves the wilderness and the idiosyncratic landscapes. Paula is interested in the coming together of cultures and the art that comes from the mix.
Paula’s studio is a mezzanine in her home where she lives on a hill in the Wairarapa. There is a large workbench, where she works with her back to the window, as this is the way the light works best. When she turns around she has a stunning view of the rolling hills, trees and animals. She can watch Kereru swooping, hawks circling and sometimes lamb being born. Her studio is very peaceful and quiet - a bit too quiet sometimes!
To see the new Ika Moana series and a collection of medium flags click here.