Mandy Cherry Joass now at The Ivy Box 

Mandy Cherry Joass’ artwork is now available to view and buy at The Ivy Box art gallery in Queenstown. 

The Christchurch-based sculptor is known for her bright and bold artworks which draw on traditional techniques and ancestral knowledge to create contemporary art. Mandy is of Ngapuhi, Ngai Takoto and Te Pātū whakapapa. 

She graduated from Ilam in 2015 with a BFA in sculpture and her work has been exhibited across the country. Mandy’s colourful artworks celebrate the survival and the growth of mātauranga Māori. She employs traditional techniques in raranga (weaving) and kowhaiwhai (painting) to create fresh, fun and contemporary artwork. 

The sculptures currently in the gallery are woven from recycled Venetian blinds, instead of the traditional harakeke (flax). The weave reflects the nature of Whakapapa, the integration of people, a coming together of many individuals to create a stronger, richer whole. 

September Opening Exhibition

Get ready to be inspired by fresh, new and beautiful artworks coming to the Ivy Box art gallery in Queenstown this Spring!

Look out for the official notice but the 23rd of September has a nice ring to it!

In Spring, we’ll go back to our regular opening hours. We’ll also have a brand new exhibition with plenty to get excited about. There’ll be a staggered event on opening day, giving everyone the opportunity to drop into our gorgeous gallery, soak up the atmosphere, enjoy new art, sculpture and jewellery, as well as meet Gallery Director Lynda and all the artists contributing to the works in the gallery.

We’re so excited to welcome you back!

The culture and history of beading with Hannah Bailly

Beadwork artist Hannah Bailly has created bead jewellery for more than 34 years. 

Originally from Northern California, she began studying the art of Native American beadwork at the age of 18. Since then, Hannah has taken inspiration from beadwork through the ages. She’s explored India, Europe and parts of the Middle East with an artist’s eye.

Today, she’s based in her sunny Beadworkz studio in Dunedin. 

Original bead necklace

Exploring the world of beading

Over her career, Hannah has had many incredible experiences.

“One of my favourite memories is buying gemstones in Jaipur, India. I went to the gem dealers and found the right people down the back alleyways to find the authentic gems. It was amazing.” 

Hannah says another special moment was repairing a 1920s Art Deco necklace for a well-known New Zealand fashion designer. 

“Over time, the necklace had lost some of its beads. Others had broken and some of the weave patterns had disintegrated. She asked if I could repair it and it was difficult because it had the tiniest beads and they’re really hard to find. They couldn’t be found in New Zealand so I had to get them from my supplier in California. 

“Repairing that necklace was special because it brought me more into the New Zealand fashion industry. But it was also a wonderful experience doing the repair. Repairing an ancient piece is rewarding for everyone. It’s rewarding for me because I feel like I’m part of something timeless and it was rewarding for her because she could wear that special piece again.” 

The culture behind bead jewellery

Alongside her beadwork, Hannah teaches Cultural Anthropology at a university. Though the two fields are quite different, anthropology casts a light on the cultural meaning behind beadwork.

“There are many different reasons why people have traditionally done beadwork. But I think in a nutshell, it’s about social status and ritual. In different cultures, like Native American and African cultures, beadwork is worn by people with different statuses. 

“The peyote stitch of Native American beadwork is worn by the shaman during peyote rituals. It’s worn as an emblem that signifies that ritual and it takes them deeper into the spirit realm. That’s one area of social status. It is status combined with mysteries. 

“Some of the African tribes would wear beadwork to signify their standing as royalty. The different pieces that they wore would signify their status. So in a nutshell, it’s a mix of status and ritual.” 

Original bead jewellery

Themes behind Hannah’s beadwork

Hannah says the idea of ritual is carried through her work. 

“When I’m beading, I go into a meditative space. It’s extremely therapeutic in terms of mindfulness. I sit for hours and I just slip into a particular state of mind – that’s a ritual in itself. So producing a piece that comes out of that can be seen as a piece that has engaged in this deep, meditative process. Another, popular way of looking at that is the idea of slow fashion. 

“It’s handmade and has a different energy to something mass-produced.”

Her artwork can be described as ‘otherworldly’ and Hannah takes influences from different ages and cultures. 

“I do a lot of beadwork that could be described as Art Nouveau and Art Deco. I’ve been through a Victorian phase. Some of my work is medieval in appearance, too. When I start using natural materials like the labradorite stones, that takes you into this mysterious zone.” 

Beadwork jewellery in Queenstown

Hannah Bailly will present a wide range of elaborate beadworks that can be worn or enjoyed as an art piece at the Ivy Box. 

“I’m using a lot of natural stones, so I’m going for that ‘mystique’ look. There’s definitely a medieval feel coming through for me in this range too.” 

Hannah first stumbled across the art gallery a few years ago, while visiting the town. 

“I walked in and was just enthralled by Lynda’s artwork. Her work is mysterious and beautiful. So I introduced myself, showed Lynda some images of my artwork and she said: ‘Oh, I want that ring!’. 

“I feel like our artworks are a good match. I feel honoured and excited to be part of the new gallery.” 

Find a range of Hannah Bailly’s eye-catching and intricate beadwork at the Ivy Box gallery from Spring 2021. 

Shadow play: the work of weaver Jasmine Clark

Artist and weaver Jasmine Clark creates sculptures from woven materials. Her work plays with form and shadow, creating striking artworks that are unlike any other. 

Based in Arrowtown, Jasmine’s work will feature in the opening art exhibition at The Ivy Box art gallery. The gallery re-opens in September 2021 after an extensive renovation project.  

“All of my work is created using woven materials,” says Jasmine, “For a long time I was only using recycled copper wire, now I am using rattan (the inside of cane). My hands are starting to feel those harder materials so I’m adapting and exploring other materials.” 

Weaving inspired by nature

Jasmine grew up in Kare Kare on Auckland’s West Coast, where she developed a deep appreciation of nature and natural forms. As a youngster, she was a serious shell collector.

Her introduction to the world of weaving came from her grandmother and mum, who were both rug weavers. 

“Mum used to set me up on a little loom when I was a kid. I went straight to art school from high school and when I was about 18, I did a night class on flax weaving. I was hooked and I’ve been weaving ever since.” 

Jasmine has a Bachelor in three-dimensional design from Unitec Design School (Auckland) and a certificate in visual arts from Nelson Polytechnic. She regularly attends conferences in Australia and New Zealand, teaching and learning more as she goes. 

Though she has moved away from flax weaving, Jasmine still uses natural materials. Her work features materials like bull kelp, willow and rattan, all woven into natural shapes that play with shadow and light. 

“Most of my work is based on natural forms and natural materials. I use found driftwood and recycled wire, rattan… 

“I love playing with shadows and natural forms. Weaving lends itself beautifully to shadow play so I always try to incorporate that.” 

Rattan weave sculpture by Jasmine Clark casts a shadow on a white wall

New Beginnings exhibition

Jasmine says she’s excited to be part of The Ivy Box gallery’s New Beginnings exhibition this spring.  

“I visited the gallery the other day and it’s amazing – so cool and fresh and funky. And you can’t beat that location by the lake…”

From her studio in Arrowtown, Jasmine works on commissions but the exhibition has offered an opportunity to experiment and create something completely different.

“I’m using rattan and experimenting with different ways to dye it. So I’ll probably do that for Lynda’s gallery. 

“I’ll also incorporate driftwood which I have been charring with a blow torch. This is similar to a technique used in Japan for cladding.

“Playtime has become a luxury recently. So that’s the thing I’m most looking forward to. I’ve got some ideas and I’m working on something new for the exhibition. I won’t be repeating something I have already done and I’m excited to share that.”

The Ivy Box’s opening exhibition, New Beginnings, starts 24th September 2021. The exhibition features new work by a multi-disciplinary range of contemporary New Zealand artists. 

Roimata Taimana: drawing journeys

Roimata Taimana uses drawings to express mental and physical journeys.

The musician and artist draws intricate artworks in pen, which express his own and other’s journeys.

“I’ve always been a drawer,” he explains, “I’ve been doodling since primary school. I won a couple of competitions when I was 5 or 6 years old and ever since then I’ve loved drawing. It’s taken me this long to get here, but it’s been a really nice journey.”

Roimata Taimana began his professional artistic career exhibiting works made using spray paints. He switched back to ‘doodling and drawing’ around five years ago.

He draws in black and white using V5 Hi-tech Point pens (“they’re beautiful to draw with!”). One drawing can use as many as four pens. It’s not uncommon for Roimata to work 9-hour stints, getting lost in the journey of his art.

Working in black and white enables Roimata to create more complex designs.

“The simpler the colours are, the more I can put in a drawing,” he says.

Black and white drawing by artist Roimata Taimana
Roimata Taiaman draws artworks which express his own and other’s journeys

Expressing journeys through drawing

Roimata Taimana also works for Te Korowai Hauora O Hauraki, a mental health service.

He uses drawing as a creative tool to help people explore and map their mental health journeys.

“Working in mental health is really cool because I can draw the tipuna (the story) of some of our whanau that come through mental health services.

“They come into the group meeting and give their korero on what’s happening. If something sticks with me I’ll approach them and say: look, would you like me to draw your picture for you while you journey with us?

“At the end of their term with us, they go home with their own original koha.

“People love it. It’s amazing to see their reaction, them saying: Wow, I remember this, I’ve been through all of this.
“They tell me it’s something they can sit and look at when they’re feeling down, to remind themselves: I’ve been through this already, I can get back to the light.

“I love drawing that journey for them.”

Art as a change agent

Artist Roimata Taimana with dog

Roimata Taimana’s own journey is a fascinating one and themes from his personal journey play through his artwork too.

Born in the West Auckland Titirangi region, Roimata spent time playing on the wild West Coast beaches. Then, in the early 80s, Roimata was sent to live with his adopted family in the Coromandel.

“I was living on a farm and there were thousands and millions of acres of bush to play in. That was our playground.

“So [my artwork] originally started with nature. I’ve lived in bush or wooded areas most of my life and I am prone to spending time in the bush.

“But since working in mental health, Maori influences on my art have come out so much more.

“I went for training to become a Mataora at the mental health service Te Korowai. Mataora is a change agent, but it is also the Mataora Moko – the tattoo. And since working with Te Korowai I’ve had my Mataora Moko done. Things have really changed since then and these themes have started to come out. It’s really exciting.”

Now living in Kuaotunu, a small town on the Coromandel Peninsula, Roimata looks forward to where his art will take him next.

“A billboard worth forty four thousand million dollars?” (He jokes), “An award, for being THAT guy?”

“Wherever my art takes me, it’s good, so long as people get to see it and travel in it. That would make me happy, if they can find a piece of their lives in my art work and relate to it, I’m pretty happy with that. That’s awesome. They say sharing is caring!”

Roimata Taimana art exhibition

The Ivy Box gallery’s ‘New Beginnings’ exhibition will be the South Island’s first opportunity to see Roimata Taimana’s work.

Roimata met Ivy Box Director and Curator Lynda Hensman in the Coromandel. Drawn to his authentic style, she invited him to join the special exhibition.

“To be honest, I’m shitting myself about the exhibition,” he laughs.

“But in saying that, one of the young artists also at the exhibition is part of my valley whanau. Hana does beautiful artwork and I’m stoked she’ll be there with us.

“I am absolutely honoured to be a part of this. Lynda’s a lovely lady and I’m so privileged to be part of this journey with her.”

Join Roimata Taimana and other selected artists at The Ivy Box gallery’s re-opening exhibition.

‘New Beginnings’ marks the opening of the re-imagined and lovingly restored gallery space on 17th September 2021.