toi o tahuna

  Colleen Urlich

Colleen Urlich COLLEEN WAATA URLICH (b.1939)
Te Popoto, Nga Puhi, Ngati Whatua

Largely self-taught, Colleen’s interest in clay developed while completing an art major at Auckland Teachers Training College, in the late 1950’s and continued her development during the 1970s with the encouragement of Alec Musha, one of the first Maori potters, who worked with Yvonne Rush. Colleen is a strong believer in tradition, decorating with patterns from traditional Maori weaving and on occasion adding muka (flax fibre), feathers, or shell to her works.

“Working with clay means working with the body of Mother Earth, the most intensely creative feminine force we know. She influences and sustains us physically and spiritually”.

Her work has been in exhibitions throughout New Zealand, and she participated in "Mana Wahine" (1995) USA, “Te Atinga” (1997) Bath UK, "Haka" (1997-98) UK, and “Sisters / Yakkananna / Kahui Mareikura” (2002) in Adelaide, Australia. Her work was exhibited for the first time in Canada in “Fusion - Tradition & Discovery” (1999) and in “Kiwa – Pacific Connections” (2003) at the Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver, Canada. Currently some examples of her work are showing on Level Six at Te Papa in the ‘Nga Toko Rima Exhibition’. In August she contributes to the ‘Whenua’ exhibition in San Francisco, staged in conjunction with ‘Te Mutunga Kore: The Eternal Thread’ weaving Exhibition, which will tour the United States. A guest artist in the McAllister Awards at Anderson Park Gallery, Invercargill in 2004, Colleen’s work appears in a number of collections, including that of Te Papa Tongarewa.

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