Maori and European descent
Iwi – Ngati Tuwharetoa
When asked what kind of artist she is Vanessa replies “a printmaker” but in her mind she is a printmaker who likes to weave. Vanessa uses her artwork to explore the meaning of her heritage.
By combining the two longstanding customs of Maori weaving and European printmaking she not only sustains the ideas of tradition but brings them into a context wherein they become a reflection of herself, something in its own time.
Working mainly in etching and drypoint, Vanessa enjoys creating lines and tones in which to push and pull ink in and out. “The process of preparing the plate lovingly and inking it up time and time again, preparing also the paper either woven or flat is ceremonial and reminds me of all the preparation involved in the process of weaving. Ceremonial traditions are then merged with each other therein sacrificing one to the other sustaining the traditions in a new context. Creating hopefully at the very least intrigue into the new thing created and its position in the traditional and cultural contexts.”
Vanessa completed her Bachelor of Arts in 2002 and is now studying, full time, Te Reo Maori through Te Wananga o Aotearoa. She is continuing to create art at her Wanganui studio and is endeavouring to complete a few projects this year with Toi Whakataa – Maori Print Collaborative.