Artist Profile: Gareth Barlow

Carver/Mixed Media

Gareth was born in Lower Hutt in 1971 and his practice centres on small- carved sculpture and adornment in bone, ivory, deer antler as well as indigenous stone such as pakohe, onewa and pounamu.
My passion for art is driven by my pride in being a New Zealander. My early capacity for illustration, and close family ties to Nga Puhi and Ngati Toarangatira, lead to an interest in Maori art during my school years. This stayed with me on my journey beginning in the printing industry with commercial art and graphic design, taking me into the advertising world where I remain as an Art Director.
After some foreign travel I settled in Sydney at the end of 2000, which re-ignited my love affair for illustration and Maori art. I wanted to pursue an art form that filled my passion for New Zealand history and culture. It was about then that I discovered carving. I stumbled in my early years, having few local references to draw on.
It wasn’t until I returned to New Zealand with my young family in 2008 that my carving career began to flourish, with work acquired by major public collections in Auckland, Rotorua and Wellington.
My vision is simple, to create the finest work I can that reflects my philosophies and honours my country’s heritage.