Art from the far South of New Zealand
In the beginning
Louise Craig was born in Tuatapere, New Zealand and lived in Ohai briefly before moving to Invercargill as a toddler. She attended Saturday morning art classes which she enjoyed and she was always drawing or painting. Louise remembers as a child setting up a desk in her bedroom doorway and her ‘shop’ was open to sell her drawings. At this time she also decided that you were ‘grown-up’ and had ‘really made it’ if your artwork was framed. Louise gives high praise and credit to her mother who was a valuable teacher and mentor at this time. Her mother supported and nurtured her creativity and always organised interesting arts and crafts projects to do in the school holidays. She was always interested in what Louise was doing creatively and was open minded which lead to good conversations. Her mother was also creative and did patchwork, crafts, rose petal bead making and writing.
Louise studied Visual Communications at Southland Polytechnic and attended night classes by Paul van den Bergh which was her formal introduction to life drawing. Louise gained a DFA from Otago Polytechnic School of Art, Dunedin.
Over a period of time Louise has attended numerous workshops and courses. She has done this from the desire to learn and improve her skills but also out of a child-like curiosity to try something new and to see what potential can come from the inspiration of one idea. The courses have covered life drawing, painting, printmaking, water colour, batik, marbling, sewing, tassel making, horse felting, general felting, jewellery, rose petal bead jewellery, art clay, creative writing and poetry. All these activities have been enjoyable in their own way for Louise as she has learnt new skills, used different tools and she has had the opportunity to met new teachers, new artists of a kindred spirit and has had great conversations. Louise believes every creative discipline informs the other. All this information and experience adds to our reservoir of wisdom and knowledge. It helps us to develop our unique vision and our personal perception of what our art is.
Louise has other areas of interest relating to the Healing arts. Louise is a Doterra Essential oil consultant and currently she is an Aura Soma registered practitioner. Aura Soma is a non-intrusive, self selective colour healing system which involves the use of coloured bottles which contain a combination of natural living herbs, essential oils, mineral and crystal extracts. These and other Aura Soma products can be applied to and around the body. Louise is interested in using art and healing art practices to heal people, to assist them to gain insight and to remember who they are. Sacred geometry, conscious awareness, crystals and making natural every day products are other interests. These include soap and hand cream which contain natural oils and ingredients.
Louise has skills in signage, lighting, exhibition installation and experience with handling and packing museum objects and art works. These skills were gained from working on local, national and international exhibitions. This is from her employment at the Bluff Maritime Museum, Otago Museum, the Southland Museum & Art Gallery and currently Hanan Gallery.
Louise’s creative vision
Louise sees her role as an artist, as a calling. Currently Louise transmutes her experiences into drawings, paintings, felting, jewellery and poetry. She enjoys working with colour, texture, some natural materials and recycling components in her work. Louise also loves being in the ‘zone’ when she is creating in her studio.
The natural materials Louise uses are the wool and silk in her felting and the flower petals in her Flower petal bead jewellery range. These beads are porous and natural essential oils can be applied if desired and these oils have added healing benefits.
Louise appreciates the value and principle of recycling. When making art work she will recycle items when this idea works with what she is creating. The Recycled jewellery range has the larger components made from recycled parts. These recycled parts have been dismantled and adapted to be recreated. These components may have been belt buckles, earrings, bracelets, necklaces or buttons in a previous life. Louise also loves second hand shops which can sometimes be like Aladdin’s cave. She can discover amazing fabric for felting or sewing, old frames to fit canvases, old jewellery to recycle and display props for the gallery.
Creations on display
Currently Louise works at her gallery, Hanan Gallery at 130A Dee Street, Invercargill where her paintings, felting and jewellery are on display. Her work is also on display in Oamaru at The Whisky Fine Art Gallery and at The Art Cove at the Riverton Arts Centre.
If you have any questions for Louise regarding her artwork, purchasing her artwork, setting up an exhibition, the history of James Hanan and Hanan Gallery, Doterra essential oils, or booking an appointment for an Aura Soma consultation feel free to contact her via the contact page.
Visit Hanan Gallery’s web site for further information and facebook Hanan Gallery