Sheree Willman


Ko Rangitane, Ngati Kahungunu te Iwi, Ko Manawatu Awa, Ko Ruahine Maunga, Ko Kurahaupo te Waka, Ko Makirikiri te Marae.

‘I am of Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitāne and Pākehā descent, living in Wellington, New Zealand. My Māori heritage is important in my life and in my art.
I have always loved to paint and my artworks reflect my love of colour, geometric design and my cultural heritage. After leaving school I studied Contemporary Māori Design at Wellington Polytechnic. It was there that I was honoured to have my designs selected to decorate two frosted glass panels for the doors of the No1 Court in the new High Court building, then being built in Wellington. They are still there today.
I am passionate about the patterns of tukutuku which are the woven wall panels seen in whare tipuna, or meeting houses. My work is contemporary expression of negative-positive design elements of customary patterns evident in tukutuku (cross stitch weaving) and taniko (geometric weaving). Old or new, these patterns each convey different meanings, mythology and experiences. I have strong memories from my childhood of the tukutuku at the marae where my grandparents’ tangi (funeral) was held. It was an occasion where I had, perhaps for the first time, a strong sense of belonging and cultural identity.’

Sheree has exhibited her work at a number of group shows in Wellington, including at Kura Gallery, and also at charity events at Pataka in Porirua and Expressions Whirinaki in Upper Hutt. She is looking forward to her first solo exhibition ‘Raranga’ at Pataka Art + Museum in Porirua in 2020.