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. 

Media release: New beginnings for Queenstown art gallery

Queenstown art gallery The Ivy Box is entering a new chapter thanks to an extensive renovation project. 

Housed in the town’s original butcher’s shop on Park Street, the building has been lovingly restored and extended, with the addition of a modern gallery and artists’ residences.

The Ivy Box will re-open to the public on 24th September 2021, with an aptly named ‘New Beginnings’ exhibition. The exhibition will feature the work of The Ivy Box Founder and Director Lynda Hensman as well as work by talented contemporary artists curated by Lynda. 

Ivy Box art gallery sign

“The building no longer served me. It was freezing! It was time to take the building on a new journey, to evolve it into a more modern – and warm – venue for contemporary art,” says Lynda.

“I’m looking forward to not having to wear gloves and a scarf while painting! But more than that, I think the renovation has managed to preserve the essence of the building, whilst giving it a new beginning, a new lease on life. 

“It’s in an incredible location, on the fringe of Queenstown CBD, right on the lakefront and with gorgeous views and I wanted to preserve and enhance that. 

“The haphazard 1970s/80s extension has been demolished to make way for sweeping windows on the upper floor, while the ancient stone walls have been preserved and our famous ivy and Virginia Creeper will be lovingly encouraged to grow back – though not through cracks in the windows and cupboards like it did before the renovation!” 

The gallery originally opened in 2015 and while the building has been transformed, The Ivy Box continues its dedication to authentic New Zealand art. 

Artists at the opening exhibition include Sue Hartly, Jane Sutherland and Odelle Morshuis. The exhibition will also introduce up-and-coming young talent like Hana Coleman. 

“The Ivy Box will still be a venue for authentic art that’s created with passion. The artists on board all have the same passionate dedication to their art – they create from the heart and are ‘outside the square’ in terms of approach and thinking. I’ve hand-picked them for that reason. 

“While the landscape outside is beautiful, you won’t find traditional landscape art inside. The new gallery space will be a home for art that stimulates all the senses – there’s grit, contrast and passion in all of it.” 

Lynda Hensman painting with Monty

For interviews or more information, contact Lynda Hensman.

Photo credit: James Allan Photography

Introducing Artist Hana Coleman

Artist Hana Coleman will exhibit a range of her artworks for the first time in the South Island.

The talented young artist is 19 years old. The Ivy Box’s ‘New Beginnings’ exhibition will be her first major art exhibition.

“This is my first, big, fancy exhibition, so that’s really exciting for me!” She says. 

“For the exhibition, I am exploring the theme of self-care and self-identification. It’s basically about a Maori person trying to discover things about themselves and their ancestry. How the language is lost and how many Maori people don’t know anything about their whakapapa and their tipuna (ancestors). 

“It’s about how there’s a lot of shame and confusion around learning the language. Especially when, as a Maori person, you’re expected to know the language.” 

About Artist Hana Coleman

Hana Coleman

Hana lives in Kūaotunu (Coromandel Peninsula) and met Ivy Box founder and curator Lynda Hensman while working at a local café with Lynda’s daughter. She’s never been to Queenstown before and says she’s excited to see the gallery for the first time at the New Beginnings exhibition opening (Spring 2021). 

Art has always been Hana’s passion: “I’ve always, always, always made art. I still have drawings of fairy people and stuff that I used to draw as a young kid,” she laughs. 

“Right now, I’m only painting in acrylics. My art is very Maori-focussed and I enjoy making art that’s focused on Maori issues and problems happening in Aotearoa and the wider Maori community. 

“I like acrylics, it’s easy and efficient and I don’t have to wait for it to dry. I don’t have to take long breaks in between painting. But then… I don’t like it because it dries so fast and I like my art to be blended. It’s hard when you’re painting skin and you need to blend that in and it’s already dry!” 

See examples of Hana’s art on Instagram (@HanaKowhaiArt), or see her and her art at the New Beginnings exhibition, at the Ivy Box (134 Park Street, Queenstown)