As a fundraising exercise the Taranaki Arts Trail have asked artists to take a matchbox and make something interesting out of it.

I love the idea of cabinets of curiosities and so I thought I would make two tiny objects which brought to mind mini steamer chests or a small reliquaries.

Bellini’s paintings adorn the front of this box and are taken from a book I found in Melbourne ten years ago. The mini medal has been in my possession for almost as long though its purpose and age are a mystery. Findings from America and Canada were used to embellish this curiosity and make it truly special. I hand stitched a tiny cushion out of the lining of a masonic collar and rolled up a Rebekah Lodge ribbon into a delightful satin scroll to add to this ensemble.

​I have always adored Victorian collections of butterflies and moths and these Taranaki specimens were found in my house. Their bed of sticks and dried ferns came from an abandoned nest in our driveway which was used as the design inspiration behind the 'Picaflor' cover design. The box itself is decorated with bamboo printing plates from which I lovingly took many intaglio prints.

I'm looking forward to opening my studio to Taranaki Arts Trail goers on the 13th & 14th of June.

It’s my first arts trail so I’m not sure exactly what to expect but those interested in my work and practice will be able to see me at work in my new studio.

Recently I have taken over a large and beautiful room which may once have been a drawing room for the Victorian family who built this house. It has a wonderful varnished Rimu ceiling and a large bay window with stained glass but the cream walls aren't very inspiring and as I will be spending much of my time here I think its only right to make it my own.

Finding the right colour for my studio has been problematic. I've noticed the colours of the rooms I work in affect my moods and energy levels so it is essential to make the space work. I was inspired by a chinoiserie chamber at the top of St Michael's Mount which felt like walking into a fantasy. I hope my own version will be a calm but beautiful workspace for the next few years as I start on my new collection.

I am very grateful that Paula Silbert consented to open my exhibition ‘Gazing Where the Lilies Blow.’ She gave a stunning and heartfelt presentation of the work, talking fluidly about the influences and motivations behind many of the pieces.

The twenty four paintings which made up ‘Gazing Where the Lilies Blow’ looked incredible in the beautifully refurbished Edwardian space of Linton and Kay’s inner city gallery. I couldn’t think of a more fitting way to close the book on two years of solid work which saw their first inspiration to the completion of this collection. Many of these paintings will begin their journey into the world when the exhibition comes to a close on Sunday 22nd.

Looking around the space there is pride, joy, relief and sadness at the thought that these precious things I have loved are now moving away from my daily life to find their proper place in the world. There is always an air of sadness the last time I view a collection as a whole. The work means so much to me personally that I can’t help but be sad that they have gone. At times like this I always remember that the greatest joy for me is the moment when someone commits themselves to a work and is willing to make it a part of their life as I once did. I keep one work as a reminder of the beautiful and exhausting journey which these pieces took me on for the past two years.