Valerie Hunton | Image maker – 80 years on
Valerie ( centre ) at the opening of her new exhibition , Sunday 13 March
Valerie was born in Auckland and graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts majoring in painting. She taught art in England and New Zealand . In 1981 she became the first New Zealand woman Psychodrama Director and pioneered work using art and drama in multi-media, playback theatre and pschodrama therapeutic groups.
Leaving New Zealand with her husband in 1985 for the Marshall Islands, Valerie began a 15 year journey as an artist through many Pacific Island countries. Working with women through weaving and tapa making, she entered into their cultures, symbols, textures, fibres and colours. Whilst Artist in Residence at the Fiji School of Medicine she published a book on painting, weaving and voices entitled ” Pacific Journey – A Celebration”.
Back in New Zealand, Valerie held four major exhibitions in Auckland therein she expressed the return to her birth place and New Zealand as part o fthe great Pacific.
Her current work is a celebration of life, its natural rhythms and themes of sky, ocean, birth and death. She uses natural fibres, tapa cloth, canvas, synthetic fibres, acrylic paint, ribbons or anything that resonates this celebration – the celebration of life !
Her art work is represented around the Pacific Rim in museums, including the Bishop Museum in Hawaii, cultural centres including the T Jibaou Cultural Centre in New Caledonia, public places, hospitals and schools. She has exhibited her work at the University of Hawaii, Isla Centre for the Arts, the Pacific Festival of Arts in Samoa, the Fiji Museum, and galleries in Auckland and Kerikeri.
Currently in her work, Valerie is associated with the Te Huruhi Trust which is a large multi-cultural Community Centre in Glen Innes, Auckland.
Statement by the artist about this exhibition:
AN EVENT : I paint about life. People, land, sea, fauna, flora and their relationships with each other. I have lived my life in New Zealand and other Pacific Countries. Images from those places and relationships will come alive with written words and conversations. This will be an experiential event and a celebration in THE PRESENT.
Northern Advocate by Peter de Graaf , on the Readers Page – Bay News Bits : Valerie Hunton’s “Image Maker – 80 years on ” exhibition
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