Nicki StewartPainting since 1998 as a natural progression from previous studies in both Interior and Textile Design in the early 80’s, my current focus is on encaustic – (beeswax and damar resin).

It is an ancient and enduring technique which predates oil painting and was used by the Egyptians to decorate their sarcophagi.

I began primarily using encaustics out of a desire to use a more organic and sustainable medium. The history involving its use captivated me. The practice of working in a hot medium presents an exciting yet demanding challenge due to the constant metamorphosis of the wax via the heating and cooling process.

The hot wax is applied to a gesso ground and is built up in layers. The application of heat between layers fuses each layer to the last. Digital images are manipulated, printed, transferred and combined with graphite, charcoal and pigments in multiple layers sealed in by the wax.

The interplay between the resultant layers creates an enigmatic depth and translucency in the work, a luminosity not available through other mediums.

Image, narrative, process and chosen material all play significant roles in the metaphoric formulation of my work. The evolving vocabulary sometimes blatant or often hidden in the works are clues that give deeper meaning to the content, drawing in the viewer to question their own ethics or values.

Recent works have seen a move toward installation, a textile community project, ceramics, and the application of textiles in a 3D encaustic context.

I currently work and run encaustic workshops from my studio in the South Wairarapa.

Awards:

  • Morpeth Canaday Award 2001 – ‘Best Landscape’
  • Telecom Art Awards ‘Finalist’ (BOP) 2001
  • Franklin Art Awards 2002 – ‘Contemporary Art Prize’
  • Wairarapa Review 2011 – ‘Highly Commended Award’
  • Auckland Easter Show 2013 – ‘Merit Award – Small Works’
  • Parkin Drawing Prize ‘Finalist’ 2015
  • Paraparaumu Rotary Exhibition- ‘Best Abstract’ 2016

Residencies:

  • Lochmara (Marlborough) – Feb 2014
  • Earthskin (Muriwai) – Feb 2015
  • Perrin Cottage (Muriwai) – Jan 2016

Works available at:

  • Parnell Gallery – Auckland
  • Art Bureau – Auckland
  • Ora Gallery – Wellington
  • NZ Academy of Fine Art – Wellington
  • Soul Gallery – Hamilton
  • Moko Artspace – Whitianga
  • Artel Gallery – Waikanae
  • Kotare Gallery – Greytown

Exhibitions:

Solo

  • ‘Moonlight and Magic’ – Solo Exhibition (Greytown) – 2011
  • Brackenridge Spa Gallery – Solo Exhibition (Martinborough) – 2011
  • ‘HOT STUFF’ – Works in Wax, Cafe Deluxe (Wellington) – 2012
  • Wax Works – Café Baobab (Wellington) – 2012
  • 50 Shades of Green – Lochmara Lodge (Marlborough) – 2014
  • ‘Remember to Remember’ – WW1 Comemorative Exhibition
    • Aratoi Museum of Art and History (Masterton) – 2014
    • Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre (Upper Hutt) – 2015
  • ‘Explorations’ – Village Art Shop – Greytown – 2014

Group Shows

  • NZ Art Show (since 2009)
  • Artbourne Wellesley – Eastbourne 2012/ 16
  • Original Art Show – Auckland 2013
  • Timaru Plunket Show – 2013/ 15
  • Bijou Eliot Design – New Plymouth – 2013
  • Artrove Group Show – Wellington 2013
  • WaiArt Show – Carterton 2013/14/15/16
  • Life Education Trust Show – Wellington 2014
  • Martinborough Contemporary Art Auction – 2015
  • Napier Girls High School Exhibition  2015/ 16
  • St. Patricks High School Exhibition – Wellington 2016
  • NZAFA – group shows 2014/15/16
  • Wellington Regional Review 2012/14/16