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Dreaming of an art Christmas

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

ArtZone contributors share the art they’d love to give and receive this festive season.

Isabella Howard

Isabella completed a Master's of Arts in Art Business from Sotheby's Institute of Art in New

York where she continues to live and work as a writer and curator.

What would you love to get for Christmas?

I am particularly fond of Ed Bats' Bidwell Blues I. The grey and orange swathes seem to dive beneath the yellow over paint. Listing soundscaping as a key influence, Bats evokes the serene and immersive quality of the music genre creating works that I would love to live with.

Ed Bats, ‘Bidwell Blues I’, 2018, acrylic on board, 920 x 620mm

What would you like to give someone?

I would like to give my parents several Ans Westra images, but this one of a woman hanging her laundry along the fence line would be the first pick. The quiet scene reminds me of our summers spent in Awaroa where all laundry is hand-washed, spun and mangled.

Ans Westra, ‘Ruatoria’ (from 'Wash Day at the Pa'), 1963, Pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, 380 x 380 mm


Sarah Lang

Sarah is an award-winning feature writer who began her career at North & South magazine. She currently runs the Wellington Classic Literature Meetup group.

What would you love to get for Christmas?

I want a Tape Measure Bangle, an oxidised-silver bracelet engraved with a tape-measure pattern, made by Auckland jeweller Joanna Campbell (ArtZone #77). Or one of her bobbin-lace rings. The antique bobbin lace is embossed onto gold-plated copper. I like jewellery that is quirky, tells a story, and is a conversation starter.

Joanna Campbell, ‘Ring, Bobbin Lace’, copper/gold

What would you like to give someone?

I’d like to give Mum a ‘roll-up waka’, a glass bowl with a pattern that evokes a carved waka, from Whanganui glass blower/artist Katie Brown. Mum, who has glass vases in her colour-themed rooms, always finds space for a new one. And she hasn’t seen one like this before!

Katie Brown, ‘Roll up Waka’, glass


Janet Hughes

Janet is a Wellington writer, editor and printmaker.

What would you like to give someone?

I’m a works-on-paper person every time. I’d love to give someone a Jude Rae still life − either a watercolour or a lithograph. I love their severe, still compositions, and the way they hover between attentive description and pure abstraction.

Jude Rae, ‘SLL3’, 2016, lithograph, 55cm x 75cm, Ed. 10

What would you love to get for Christmas?

And if Santa wanted to send me into orbit, well, a small Max Gimblett on paper would do it. The ideal would be a minimal ink drawing, Gimblett at his most Zen, but a lithograph might be a more realistic request.

Max Gimblett, ‘Full Fathom Five’, 2015, Sumi Ink / Thailand Fabric Backed Pulp Spheres Handmade Paper, 31h x 22w


Catharina van Bohemen

Catharina lives in Auckland where she reads, writes, walks and sometimes teaches.

What would you love to get for Christmas?

I would love to be given Red Ochre 2016 by Miriam van Wezel, made from pigments gathered by the artist from the Manukau Harbour. Its size, depth and apparent stillness makes me stop and hold my breath. Tiny incisions and whirrs and dabs of colour vibrate beneath its surface, so the redness dances, darkens, and breathes. It feels alive – like the earth; like a heart.

Miriam van Wezel, ‘Red Ochre 1’ 2016, 1230 mm x1230 mm

What would you like to give someone?

I would like to give Woman and Stars by John Drawbridge to my daughter. This quiet work on paper contains immensities – a woman turns away from us and contemplates darkness and the pinpoint lights of stars. My daughter’s days are full of movement – I would give this to her to remind her of the value of solitude and silence.

John Drawbridge, 'Woman and Stars', 1971, 500 x 495, aquatint, mezzotint and dry point.

Need more gift ideas? Check out Bookworms to find out what art books arty folk would like to give and receive this year.

And if you still don't know what to buy the arty person in your life... we suggest a subscription to ArtZone.


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