Nau mai Haeremai, Haeremai
To whom it may concern;
Ko Te Mata Te Maunga, Ko Tuki Tuki Te Awa, I whanau au I
Heretaunga, Kei te tai Rawhiti o te ika a Maui, engari, Ngati Irihi, Ngati
Kotimana oku Tipuna.
Ko Gareth McGhie toku ingoa.
My name is Gareth McGhie, I was born and raised in Hawkes Bay,
New Zealand. After leaving High school I trained as a hairdresser, and worked in that industry for seven years before gaining an opportunity to work for Weta Workshop.
My work for Weta included props manufacture, miniatures
construction, prosthetic make up,molding and casting, and on set work which culminated in in me holding the workshop supervisors role for four years, running a team of up to 100 artists and technitions completing 12 major films including The lord of the Rings trilogy, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe series, District 9 and Avatar.By 2009, following ten years within the film industry I had reached a crossroads and felt I needed a change of focus. I was presented with an opportunity to take up a teaching position for WelTec in Wellington.
In 2009 I moved into my teaching role with WelTec at their
Wellington campus delivering teaching focused around the work I had done for Weta including sculpture, model making, mold making,casting etc. My teaching role with WelTec has also given me the opportunity to teach Art and Technology based courses in Hong Kong on several occasions, with more courses planned for HK and expanding into China in the coming twelve months.
One of the many benefits my teaching role has given me has been
the ability and time necessary to more fully develop my own art practice.
I have always had a love, passion, and deep admiration for the
traditional Maori and Pacific arts, particularly Whakairo or carving,
specifically within an adornment context. Stacy Gordine, a renowned Hastings carver and craftsman and close personal friend whose work I greatly admire and respect provided support and guidance to further my personal skill level enabling greater insight and direction to refining my personalized design concepts. This helped to establish a body of work that has grown exponentially, over the last few years, improving craftsmanship and creative expression.
.At some level I’m a bit of a workaholic and in my studio most nights. As a
result I have been able to assemble and maintain a sizeable body of work despite regular sales and gifting. My focus now is further developing craftsmanship and lifting the levels of complexity through the exploration of new materials and processes.
The collaboration and synergy of traditional Maori adornment motifs with the natural forms and elements of nature provides my creative inspiration. Marrying these traditional Maori adornment motifs with natures forms and elements, and combining them with both traditional and contemporary methodologies provide a unique look and feel to my work.
Drawing from a wide cultural base and understanding these concepts that are unique to New Zealand and it’s natural habitat is a context I wish to explore.
The evolution of my work has led to my belief that working within a specific Kaupapa, with set outcomes and deliverables has been of great benefit to me both as a person, and as an emerging artist. I have seen this process work very well with many other artists and practioners, and believe it has benefited me also. The process of professional collaboration, critique and feedback is a crucial component in the development of robust and well- rounded artisans.
Human beings are social animals, and despite our modern world
always driving us towards isolationism, we will forever operate at our best
potential in every aspect of our lives when placed within a collaborative an inter-active context. The social structures of our ancestral peoples allowed the development and blossoming of art, design, and levels of craftsmanship rarely paralleled in todays world. Marae based learning practice, which elevates research to a practical imperative is a case in point. For two weeks over the summer of 2011, I travelled to Te Kaha, and learnt the art of making Taruke ( Traditional Maori crayfish pots ) from a Kaumatua of Te Whanau O Apunui. I learnt more in those two weeks than I would have learnt in a year on my own in studio.
My growth as an actively researching artist has been grounded firmly within a Tuakana-Teina context. My peers and mentors allow this growth, as I allow the growth in them, and in my own students. I teach within a project based envioronment and totally believe in its importance and relevance. have a huge passion and enthusiasm for the work I do, and am hungry to learn and grow more. I look forward to any opportunity to pursue that growth.
Nga mihi nui