Artist Profile: Gabrielle Belz

Ngapuhi, Te Atiawa

Painter, Printmaker, and Designer

The land, people, and our links to each other are a constant in Gabrielle’s work. The visual vocabulary she uses is often narrative and is derived from references via history, language, experience, and observation.

Gabrielle has completed a number of public commissions. Notably are those at the Mangere East Library, Glenn Innes shopping centre and the nocturnal house at Wellington Zoo. She is a founding member of Kauwae, the national Maori Women’s exhibiting collective. She has been a long serving member of Nga Puna Waihanga, and is a former Chair of Te Atinga the contemporary visual arts committee for Toi Maori Aotearoa.

Currently with Manukau City Council as Exhibitions Co-ordinator and part time Curator for selected exhibitions. Based at the Mangere Arts Outreach Centre she is a contact point for the many artists who represent a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, including contemporary Maori and Pacific artists seeking exhibitions and opportunities to promote their work.

Her painting and printmaking is as diverse in its subject matter as her interests. However an abiding theme is her relationship to the natural world. Her series constantly return to the birds that have become an enduring symbol of the watchful, keepers and guardians of the realm. These birds compliment Gabrielle’s nature and enable her to explore a wide diversity of commentary on people through the bird forms. Her work is memorable for the character she evokes in her painting and print work.

Gabrielle has exhibited at Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Canada, Bath, Tucson, and New York in the US, Adelaide, and extensively in New Zealand.