Gnosis

Gnosis was a group exhibition featuring work by Mary MacGregor-Reid, Math Kabryn, Melanie Tahata (that’s me!), Joel Bradley, Jared Holland, Abby Helasdottir and Steven Johnson Leyba.
It was held at at Nature: Art + Design, Newton, Auckland, from 18 October to 16 November, 2013.

Gnosis basically means to develop your own mode of deep critical thinking, maybe investing time in some esoteric or occult theories. Anyway, I was invited to be a part of this exhibition, by old friend and fellow Art School Girl of Doom, Mary MacGregor-Reid. I produced 3 large posters for the exhibition. They were all done in the style of the star skulls that I posted about here.  This post is packed with photos, so I’ll stop blithering and get on with it.

The Art

Pics of the prints at home,  hanging in the gallery in Auckland and a glimpse of my artists’ statement. A post about the Goat skull design is here.

The Venue

This is where the Nature gallery was, on St. Benedict’s Street in Newtown. Beautiful Auckland, days like that made me miss you.

The Opening

This is obviously the fun bit. Hanging out with friends, old and new, was really awesome.  Thank you to everyone who came along, Mary for being awesome and Jared at Nature for currating the show.

Goats

That got your attention. Please take a gander at this goat skull design.

The Story

Once upon a morning we went on a whanau walk through the whenua at Tawatapu, to hunt goats. I was armed with my camera!  Anyone who has driven around the Wharerata Ranges knows that there are a fuckton of goats in the forest up there. I love goats.  I could look at photos of them all day. This is probably why I never get much work done. Goats will be the new cats of the internet, mark my words!  And please don’t get me started on cats.

We saw a baby goat skull on the train tracks. It was sad – where was it’s Mum? Where was it’s whanau? What happened? These sorts of questions swirled in my head. Those sorts of questions are also one of the reasons I’d make a crap farmer. So I took a photo to remember the moment.

The Design

The photo forms the basis of this design.  The Aotearoa 666 logo is used as a brush to bring the goat skull out of the darkness. Don’t ask me how the extra face popped up the top there, it just did that. Stuff happens. As Lemmy would say.
This is one of my personal favourites; the photo comes straight out of Tawatapu, also known as Bartletts, where my grandparents lived.

This design featured in the Gnosis exhibition and yes, it’s also available as a t-shirt here.

 

 

 

 

Check out these Love Skulls! Again.

Do you remember the Love Skulls paintings? I wrote about them here.

Well, I vectorised the second painting I did, in Adobe Illustrator.  Flash, aye bay?!?!  Now you can buy prints, iphone covers, laptop covers, and t-shirts from Red Bubble (good if you live in Australia) or Society6 (Stateside).

Here’s a couple of pics showing the old and the new, plus a product mockup of the iPhone on Society6.

Yurp, artist sites, I have been joining them. No doubt plenty of my other stuff will show up here too. Some of them I will only turn into prints (like the gig posters) some of my other stuff will be available as things you use wot to put on your gadgets.

And t-shirts… always the t-shirts!

 

Mauri Ora!

 

 

 

Gizzy’s Little Craft Market

Kia ora!
This Saturday I will be hosting a stall at Gizzy’s Little Craft Market.

That’s Saturday 30th June 2012, 9.30am – 4pm

At the Gisborne Army Hall.

It’s tomorrow! Eeeek!

I’ve got a small selection of things to sell, ranging from paintings, prints, and postcards.  There are even some crafty little items I made.

 

Here’s some photos! Cos we all like looking at photos 🙂

 

 

There’s more stuff posted on my facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Aotearoa666

 

Competition Time!

Kia ora mai ra!

It’s that time of the year, when I celebrate another year of financial trading. Another year of getting older! And loving it.

Last year I ran a poster competition and two lucky winners each won a signed print. This year, the stakes are higher and I am giving away a hoody or t-shirt from the Print Mighty store. I’ve added 3 new designs; a full colour Kaiti Aki; a skull print design using the star logo; and Rangi the Raptor. Click on the following thumbnails for a good look at these designs:

Now, all you have to do is get your mates to like the Aotearoa 666 page on Facebook, and then post on the wall, saying they were sent by you.  The person who has generated the most likes, wins a garment of their choice!

Make sure they post on the wall, or I won’t know who sent them.

This competition is WORLDWIDE, and not just to those living in Aotearoa (New Zealand).
Because that’s how we ship!

I will announce the winner on May the 23rd.

Mauri Ora 🙂

T-shirts for all

To celebrate Deathpunkfest this year, I opened a clothing shop on printmighty. It features my illustrations on T-shirts, hoodys and bags.  There’s something there for Deathpunk demons and Ghouls in the hood.  All the products are printed and shipped by Print Mighty.

The link to the shop is http://aotearoa666.printmighty.co.nz

I will definitely be putting more full colour designs up here during 2012.

Happy shopping!

 

 

 

 

Deathpunkfest 2011

Been a bit quiet haven’t I? Well after the Peter Steele posters, I dived straight into Deathpunkfest 2011. That’s our annual gig for the Turbojugend Aotearoa U-666. We’re a bunch of denim-clad demons who like to get together, watch some fucking choice bands and have a laugh. Or several. This year was the 5th Deathpunkfest, and the Turbojugend has been plowing along since 2003.  Honestly, you couldn’t find a better bunch of people to rocknroll with. The gig was held in Napier earlier this month, you can read about the gig here.

And this is the poster I made this year.  It features a Poster Ghoul, inspired by the wonderful ladies in our Turbojugend. And skulls, of course.  And Pania of the Reef.  My way of acknowledging my Kahungungu links! This design was done entirely using Adobe Illustrator, based on reference photos I took myself. Totally DIY, mate! Punk fucking rock!

The skull flower in her hair is based on an actual hair clip I made, although I changed the colours in the poster to make it ‘pop’ more. If you ever bothered to look closer, you’ll see some fishy shapes and seaweed swimming around her. At that moment in time, the drunken captain on the MV Rena had smashed into the Astrolabe reef, off the coast of Tauranga. Tauranga Moana (it’s real name) is a few hours drive from Gisborne. What affects their ocean, eventually will affect us. The resulting oil spill is a major environmental tragedy, not just for the life forms on the reef itself, but for the surrounding tribes that the ocean sustain. It’s like tipping petrol into someone’s fridge. So, if you don’t give a fuck about the marine life, perhaps you might give one for the people it affected? If not, then just fuck off entirely and get. your. fucking. boat. off. our. reef!

And all of that went into making this poster.

Seee, I can be romantic! (To quote this awesome lady I know). And political, too. While making art. About going to a rock n roll show.

Mauri Ora!

Skull Flower

“Why don’t you paint some nice flowers” I thought to myself one day, “that’s something nice” So I set about painting a nice flower.  Oh! let’s make it blaack! I added.  And a nice skull in it. Yeah, I like them types of flowers!

I pondered this greatly as I worked on this small canvas. It is a blue black flower (he pua) with a skull (he tohu o te tangata) in the centre, blossoming upon a vivid blood red background.  As I daubed away at the skull in the centre I asked myself “Geez – why do I like skulls so much?”

Is it all the doom and gloom? A symbol of death?  A morbid fascination with the darker side of life?

 

 

 

Yeah fuck yeah!

 

Ha ha – you thought I was going to say no, didn’t you?

Well, over the last six years I’ve lost a few friends and family, for various reasons.  I am not afraid to die, but I am afraid of what will happen to my son if I should shuffle off this mortal coil before he becomes an adult.

And ever since this started happening, I started drawing skulls.  Lots of them.  Skulls are the ultimate symbol of humanity.  A skull could represent anyone.  It could be me, it could be my son. It could be one of my whānau who have passed on.  It could be you! :O! Nothing represents my essential love for humanity like a good skull.

You can check out photos of the painting in the making on my tumblr or facebook page.  (And while you’re down there, chuck us a like or a follow please? Ta!)

This painting is 8 inches by 8 inches, painted using Golden acrylics and a nice medium as a finishing varnish.  This painting is also for sale! as it is small enough to ship.  I have paypal and can also accept bank transfers.  If you are interested in purchasing this painting, contact me at mel@aotearoa666.com.

This is my first post in Spring! Spring has sprung (at least here in Kaiti, Gisborne) and a merry sneezing season to you all.  I have included some photos of the plum tree blossoms, just in case some of you wanted an actual really nice flower.  Hehe.

The Shed

Part of our glorious Kiwi culture involves sheds.  They are important places to have. While I was growing up The Shed was a place you could clear out and have birthday parties in.  Paint cars. Fix cars.  Store tools. Build things in.  That sort of thing.  So it’s little surprise that I like to use mine as a studio space.

This wasn’t always the way with Shed.  Oh no. Shed had become a storage space for items last seen in Island Bay in the early 1970s.  Record players that used to belt out ABBA tunes to keep four year olds amused.  And then the records, and everyone else’s unwanted records.   At the start of this year, my brother returned home from Australia and he cleaned it all out.  It was amazing.  I helped some, well, very little actually, but I am incredibly grateful to my brother for completing this momentous task.  Thank you!!

So here is a small collection of photos of things I keep in my shed.  Please excuse me while I ruminate some …

I’ve got the rest of my Ngā Moemoeā (Dreams) series hanging along the western wall.  The first one in the set was sold to the H.B Williams Library here in Gisborne.  Then there’s a photo of a collage that used to be on the fridge in Queens Ave (my old flat in Balmoral), and the next photo shows a clock I added frilly bits to and an old photo from The Blooding.  Haha, what is the time indeed.  Next, a nun and her drunken goat army (because every nun needs one), positioned right next to Maleficent. The evil Disney Queen from Sleeping Beauty.  Mmmmm… feeling goth-stalgic yet?

Because I am.

Then there is Cernunnos.  I had him made for me, and he watches over All.  At his feet sits Elvis, a surprise gift! Then there is an old bottle with Siouxsie lyrics on it. You can see some old paintings in the background.  And finally, the Hank Poster from Black Chrome‘s first gig.

So there you go – a quick twirl around the shed. If you fancy a real dance one night, come over for a visit.

Mauri Ora!

Ol’ Clootie

This is my original rendering of a cowboy skull which I have affectionately named Ol’ Clootie. Is it the Devil? Or is it a reanimated skeleton come to taunt us as society falls apart….

We already know about my love for skulls.  In this picture I put together some of my favourite things; a skull, a cowboy hat and a nickname for the Devil.  I remember a friend mentioning the Ol’ Clootie name once, he said it was from Nemesis the Warlock.  The all-knowing Google informed me that it’s also from the Scottish calling a cloven hoof a Cloot; hence we have Old – or Auld – Clootie.  Another name is Old Nick. Old Hornie (haha!), all of which are allusions to earlier pagan gods.

This picture was made with colour pencils and pen on watercolour paper.  It is180mm high x 130mm wide, so it’s about the size of a large postcard.