Artist Profile: Hera Johns



Puwheke te Maunga
Mamaru te Waka
Te Whanau Moana te Hapu
Haititaimarangai te Marae
Karikari te Moana
Ngati Kahu te Iwi

Clay Artist

Hera is of Maori, Welsh and Latvian descent. Raised by her Great Grandparents in the far north at Karikari Peninnsula, Hera moved to Auckland in her early tweenties. She is now residing on the North Shore of Auckland with her two tamariki (children).

Hera is a self-taught clay artist who has had guidance from her tupuna (ancestors) through the close relationship that she shared with her home lands.

“Working with Uku (clay) connects me with Papatuaanuku (Earth Mother). I draw inspiration through her, the simplicity we see in nature and reflecting the beauty of that simplicity in my work. I would like people to feel a sense of calm when viewing or wearing my pieces.”

As a self-taught artist, Hera believes that she is free from creative constraints and enjoys working with a variety of mediums. Working with Uku has been a gradual evolution for Hera as she started working with bone, shell and sandstone carvings. For the last six years she has concentrated on Uku and has been working and exhibiting alongside other Maori Artists.

Recently in 2012, Hera was invited to become a member of Nga Kaihanga Uku–The Maori Clayworkers’ Collective. She was also selected by Creative New Zealand to represent Aotearoa with other established Maori Artists and to travel to the Solomon Islands for the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts.