Artist Profile: Joe Kemp

Joe Kemp
Ngai Tahu, Ngapuhi, Te Arawa


My name is Joe Kemp, married to Sherie and we have three sons. We have lived in Lake Rotoma in the Bay of Plenty for over fifteen years. I have been into art since I can remember only finding my sculpting ability in recent years.

I enjoy carving human forms, especially females. I feel human forms connect me with my ancestral history which brings a whole new meaning and purpose to the finished art work. I use wood as my main medium but also carve stone and I enjoy the secrets and surprises that our native timbers reveal. I sense a connection with Tane Mahuta (the life force of the tree) when I work with wood and look to bring out the wairua (essence) in each piece I create.