Author Archives: Diana Hu

Job Vacancy for Creative Career and Employment Manager

One of New Zealand’s most established and longest running Creative Career and Employment Services, Depot Artspace, has been delivering professional development and career guidance services for creatives for nearly 20 years.


Abhi Chinniah

Abhi’s exhibition A Migrant’s Path is on at Depot Artspace from 12 August – 1 September 2021.

Due to recent Covid19 lockdown during the exhibition, works have been made available for viewing online.
You can view A Migrant’s Path on the Online Gallery here and further works on her website.

*All images are courtesy of the artist Abhi Chinniah

  1. Intro
    Hello! Abhi here, portrait photographer, marketer by profession, I have a 6 month old border collie who takes up alot of my time (believe people when they tell you border collies have A LOT of energy). I currently have my exhibition A Migrant’s Path showing at Depot Artspace until September 1st. Thank you to all the people who have come in and engaged with the portraits + essays so far!
  2. You grew up in Malaysia. What was your upbringing/background like and also your personal immigration story?
    Come into the (now online) gallery and read my essay to find out!
  3. How did you get into photography and now to your art practice?
    I’ve been photographing since I was a teenager, with a keen interest in portraiture. I remember my dad buying me a small tripod because he noticed how attached I was to my Sony point-and-shoot. It’s funny I didn’t realise photography was my thing until I hit my mid-twenties and was between jobs. I picked up my partner’s Canon 6D and a friend and I headed to a beach out West. That day changed things for me and set me on a completely different path. I’d been in the hair and beauty industry up to that point and honestly thought that was going to be my lifelong career (who knows I may go back eventually). That friend is Soph by the way whose portrait and essay is part of my exhibition showing in your space.
  1. What was a challenging time & a time of highlight in your journey as an artist?
    A challenging time was probably last year when I had completed my first series Light Skin Dark Skin and the pandemic hit. I wasn’t sure if or when the work would get to be seen, and that was pretty intense as I imagine it would be for anyone who puts their heart and soul into something. A highlight would be having one of my portraits on a billboard in Tauranga along The Strand in January last year (remember a time BEFORE the pandemic?!), it was part of a competition that I was a finalist in.
  1. Where/what/who do you draw inspiration from?
    I draw inspiration from my lived experience, and the experiences of my family. Particularly my father and his migration story. A lot of this has also come from really missing my parents who live in Malaysia. I see this exhibition as an extension of Light Skin Dark Skin. All the portraits were taken in New Zealand! My self portrait was taken in my living room.
  1. What do you see as some of the main takeaways from this exhibition?
    I suppose it would be raising awareness. Putting women I never saw celebrated in mainstream media on gallery walls. Photographing them, telling their story, creating togetherness. Taking photos.


We have observed with growing consternation as the huge public opprobrium regarding the removal of 600,000 books from the National Library has been ignored and an even worse travesty has occurred which is the Library’s decision to hand over the books to an online firm described as “internet pirates”. ‘A press release was sent out by the Library on July 13. It was headlined, “National Library signs historic agreement with Internet Archive.” Internet Archive is based in San Francisco and currently the subject of a major international lawsuit, accused of piracy.

Steve Braunias,

Friends of the Earth Director, PEN NZ member and Cultural Icons Patron, Denys Trussell has sent the following letter to the Minister of Internal Affairs which provides a detailed and eloquent outline of the process, issues and implications of this decision.

Friends of the Earth Letter To Jan Tinetti  (click here to read letter)


Install view of TSU '6. (The sky that lights upon us)', 23 July - 4 August 2021. Image courtesy of Summer Shimizu.

1. What was the inspiration/art making process for this exhibition?

We have started 6. (THE SKY THAT LIGHTS UPON US) since COVID-19 hit us. Many of us reconsidered our lifestyles during managed isolation periods all around the world. We seem to continue reviewing and adjusting ourselves to the new era. Adding on to that, we still have racial movements, pro-democracy protests, and climate warming on a global scale.

Our hearts are frequently disturbed by uncomfortable news. Sometimes, we need to be away from a restless world. We consider 6. (THE SKY THAT LIGHTS UPON US) to be like a good luck charm / amulet that we can rest our hearts on.

2. Can you share 1 or 2 significant stories tying in with this exhibition that may be of interests to viewers?

We used Kanazawa gold leaf mainly because as a material, it does not rust. It is the most stable of metals and is believed to ward off evil forces.

Gold has a lot of the other meanings. It has the effect of recovering energy; gold was called a great remedy for thousands of years, as it has the ability to restore corrupted physical or mental states. After this repair, it also has the power to prevent it from breaking again. Gold also represents God and spirits – symbols of another world. These are only a few associations that gold is imbued with.

The materiality of gold is thus a conduit for reflections on modern society. We are human, not God or spirits. Our abilities are limited, but gold at least has the power to give us a positive feeling. All of the artworks have been blessed. A monk remotely prayed for this exhibition address, dates and artworks from her house.

Install view of TSU '6. (The sky that lights upon us)', 23 July - 4 August 2021. Image courtesy of Summer Shimizu.

3. This exhibition has very spiritual elements. Does TSU have a collective view on the manifestation of the spiritual world or heavens into the Earth, and its representation of this into art form?

We believe that people will pray more because of what is going on here on Earth, and we may also have our personal matters. You must have looked up at the sky and thought the Moon was beautiful or you were deep in your thoughts because you had a bad day or you were sad about something. At that moment, you are connected to something beyond the human, a spiritual part of the universe.

The Moon and Sun we see are the same planets no matter where we look up from. We may believe or not believe in any religion or spiritual forces, and we have different cultural backgrounds and upbringings. However, what all of us have in common is that the sky we look up is universal and we all have ancestors. If any of our ancestors did not exist, we would not have been here today. We believe that our ancestors are the strongest and closest God and spirituality that watch over us. We sometimes encounter ancestors’ signs in our everyday life.

Our artwork can become vehicles when we need to talk to our ancestors or loved ones or pray for something above us. Ancestors are always with us. They are our family.

In the part of the exhibition title, we included the number, “6”. It is associated with family (ancestors), harmony, God and spirituality, sixth sense, balancing, and more. “6” is one of the mysterious and powerful numbers that can help us through mysterious encounters and intuition, equally our ancestors guide us.

Install detail of Shibuzumi paint bottle, TSU '6. (The sky that lights upon us)'.

4. The install for this exhibition appears to be deceptively simple, but on closer inspection you can tell a lot of thought and work has gone into the hanging of each piece. What were some of the challenges of installing this exhibition?

A night before the install day, we had a very good idea of where and which artwork needed to go. So it was straightforward.

However, the larger arrangements were very difficult to install. All 16 timbers had different lengths and sizes, and some were curved due to being weathered for a long time. None of these wooden pieces aligned with each other, yet the gold leaf line needed to be aligned for the arrangement to reveal its desired effect. It was difficult to find a point to nail in the wall, as we couldn’t rely on the measurements from the top due to this irregularity. Even after finding the nailing point, we found the gold line didn’t match. Each nail needed a fine adjustment. When hammering the nail, all of the other timbers that were already hung needed to be temporarily de-installed, because hammering creates vibrations on the wall and the work may fall. We were pulling our hair because we had to put them up, match the gold line, put all the work down, nail the wall, put up the next one in the row…but then they weren’t aligning so we had to go back to square one every time. We knew it would be much easier if we had a rail at the back of them to make it one moveable sculpture, however we had a spiritual reason that we could not do it. An ex-cabinet maker who saw this installation described it as being “like art on art.”

5. The choice and use of materials in this exhibition are very specific, yet open for viewers to draw their own connections to each material. How does TSU hope to bridge different cultural and historic associations to materials such as gold leaf?

Gold leaf is glittering enough to enjoy visually. TSU agents, or gallery minders, told us that Shibuzumi paint apparently attracted a lot of viewers, and put them into their zones. Recycled timbers create a positive feeling too.

Choice of material is only our philosophical methodology, it helps our decision making throughout the entire project. The artwork we represent is our version of the material translation that belongs to us. Our interpretation can be different from others and it is not important—our practice does not aim to be prescriptive. We let our artwork have a conversation with the viewers. We hope the artwork takes on a personal existence, where you can go with peace of mind and treat them as an amulet. You may wish to talk to it when you are by yourself.

Install detail, TSU '6. (The sky that lights upon us)'.

TSU’s exhibition 6. (THE SKY THAT LIGHTS UPON US) is on at Depot Artspace from 23 July – 4 August 2021.

You can view their previous work here.

Indigenous Ecology and Arts Wananga

An Indigenous Ecology and Arts Wananga was developed last year with Lance Cablk (Restoring Takarunga Hauraki), Jermaine Reihana and Linda Blincko (Depot Artspace).

This has come into fruition with Martin Law Painter of Paradise’s recent exhibition at Depot Artspace, ongoing workshops in schools and now the upcoming lantern workshops in early July with master carver Natanahira Pona. We look forward to more opportunities to keep building on projects that encompass the arts and ecology.

Below is more information about the Indigenous Ecology and Arts Wananga from lead person Lance Cablk:


Oleg Polounine

1. How and when did your art journey begin?

I have been interested in art since childhood, however, it was just a few months before my final master’s exhibition that I figured out the visual language that defines my art.

2. What’s your usual art making process/how do you work?

I start off with drawings, then I make cardboard models which have to be in a one-to-one scale, as the composition usually doesn’t like being scaled up. A large part that drives me as an artist, is that I really enjoy the process of making and learning new skills as I go.

3. What was a challenging time & a time of highlight in your journey as an artist?

Art can be a struggle, and you do tend to suffer for your practice, so it is always a highlight to be in a community that is there to offer advice and support.

4. Which 3 artists (dead/alive) that you would like to have dinner with?

If I was a linguist, Alberto Giacometti, the quintessence of an artist, then Donald Judd whose art has always inspired me, and one of my earlier inspirations, Salvador Dali.

5. Where/what/who do you draw inspiration from?

The process of making can be quite inspiring in itself, as my practice often requires research of new tools and techniques which I enjoy.

6. What are 5 most important items/tools in your creative practice?

Hobbies, as those are often other expressions of creativity, being in nature/exercise, reading, talking to likeminded people, looking at art.

7. How can young emerging artists like yourself be better supported?

For me it was important to have a space to work, having a group of people to make proposals for group shows in artist run spaces, and being part of critique groups. It would be better if there was more information available for artists that are just starting out and better support from the government that caters for those individuals. (website)

Oleg Polounine – Selected Work 2015-2020 – Depot Artspace (Exhibition 22 May – 2 June 2021)

Suicide Awareness

Depot Artspace has received recognition for its work on suicide over the past 20 years and has been invited by the Museum of Sepulchral Culture in Kassel, Germany to contribute a paper to its suicide awareness publication, to be launched on International Suicide Awareness day, September 10. This coincides with an exhibition they will hold on suicide awareness – ‘Let’s Talk  About It’.


This exhibition will use examples from art and cultural history, medicine, the humanities and social sciences to provide information, suggestions, challenges, and opportunities to reflect on how society and individuals deal with suicide. The publication as well as an extensive event programme will accompany the exhibition in cooperation with other institutions, associations and societies. The aim is to promote public communication on suicide.


Depot Artspace has been mentioned as a partner in this project–lets-talk-about-it


The Museum for Sepulchral Culture is dedicated to the issues of dying, death, burial, mourning and remembrance. It is the only independent institution committed exclusively to cultural and scientific standards that deals with the entire spectrum of the so-called Last Things. The museum encourages its visitors to view the often taboo general theme of “death” with expertise, research and communication, with understanding, perseverance and humour.’





Sustainability has become a prominent buzzword, which over the past year or so has been applied to almost every sphere of life. It has become a prominent means of promoting and selling products, from travel to fashion, with environmentalists feeling this mass appropriation violates the true intent of the term.


Wendy Pettersen

  1. Could you briefly explain the rationale behind the exhibition title “What if?” for audiences?

To invite people to imagine an urban/suburban environment that included wild creatures- and in New Zealand that would be the birds. New Zealand is thought of as the sea bird capital of the world

  1. This exhibition advocates for nature & wildlife. What are some personal experiences/events in your life to spur on a passion for this?

Our trips to Miranda to photograph the godwits, knots, stilts, oystercatchers. Watching the flocks of birds preparing for their long flight north is breath taking. I grew up in an environment in which there were so many creatures- insects, birds and mammals and we are losing them to our detriment

  1. What’s your usual art making process/inspiration/how do you work?

I take photographs of landscapes and birds. Once I have an idea I draw from them; in this instance I would first choose the birds then decide on a suitable habitat, I do many drawings from these photographs so that I understand the proportions of each species and how they move. Then I experiment with different compositional ideas. I use thin washes of oil almost like water colour. In this instance it is to reference pre-colonial painting.

  1. What was a challenging time & a time of highlight in your journey as an artist?

Never having the time to fully realize an idea when I was teaching.

  1. Which 3 artists (dead/alive) that you would like to have dinner with?

I would love to spend an evening with Joseph Banks to learn what New Zealand was like, Ralph Hotere and Fred Williams. I love the richness of Pierre Bonnard’s colours and his oblique viewpoints. Actually I would like to have dinner with Buller and serve him an incapacitating concoction.

  1. From your experience teaching art in high schools, what advice would you give to a younger artist starting out in the creative industry?

Find people who inspire and challenge you and build a community that sustains your development

  1. What are 5 most important items/tools in your creative practice?

Camera, phone, very fine brushes, dark wash pencil, fine smooth canvas

  1. You previously held a solo photographic exhibition at the Depot; what visual mediums do you use in your art practice and what is your relationship with each one?

In the solo exhibition I did multiple black and white film exposure so there was an element of serendipity. However I prefer the control of paint and painting is a lovely way to spend the day.


Wendy’s exhibition “What If?” will be showing at Depot Artspace 20th March – 7th April.

See link for full details:

Local musicians/artists/performers wanted: Paid work

Fresh Concept are looking for musicians/artists/performers for “Race days by the sea” as part of the Summernova programme for the 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA, taking place throughout summer 2021. As part of this significant occasion, Devonport will be hosting Race Days by the Sea, a 6 day event series which will be free and accessible for the local community.

Artists & performers need to be secured by this week! Please email Angela Hicks: if you would like to be part of this!

Event dates
Fri 5th to Sun 7th March
Fri 12th to Sun 14th March

What is the event and what is happening
Race Days By The Sea is a 6 day event series which ties into the America’s Cup racing schedule. The events will happen over the first 2 weekends of the racing in March. The key activities happening at Windsor Reserve are as follows:- A large screen TV playing the live feed of the racing
– Live performances (music, dance, etc) prior to the racing
– Games & activities
– Kids workshops
– Local food offering

Performance opportunities
We have a range of ways people can get onboard.
– Perform before the racing on a stage next to the big screen
– Roving entertainment
– Facilitate a workshop, games, storytime, etc
– Display artwork onsite
– Create artwork onsite
– Display digital content on the large LED screen prior to the race screening

What else is happening in the area on these days
There is another offering up Maungauika/North Head which is managed by the Tūpuna Maunga Authority. This consists of performances, art displays, a Māori food offering, and a stunning view of the harbour.


Trixi Rosa

Trixi Rosa is a listener/learner/poet/artist from Punakaiki, Aotearoa, currently living between
Tāmaki Makaurau and the unceded Kulin lands known as Melbourne. She works for local
non-profit organisations, collaborating with other artists to co-design community arts and
cultural development projects with youth.

double-knotted shoelace, Trixi Rosa’s first published collection of poetry, is grounded in both
her experience & observations. Growing up in a small, isolated community in Te Tai Poutini, Te
Waipounamu (West Coast, South Island), it touches on her connection to place, bloodlines,
grief and loss, generational trauma, gendered violence, mental health, addiction, shame,
and intimacy.

Trixi Rosa has had work published by literary bodies such as Hunter Writer Centre (AUS),
Genre: Urban Arts (USA), Maternal Journal (USA) and Verity La (AUS). She has performed and
exhibited work locally and internationally at First Site Gallery, Emerging Writers Festival,
Melbourne Writers Festival, The Bowery Poetry Club (NYC), Chopin Theatre (Chicago),
Footscray Arts (FCAC), Seven Sisters Festival and The Wheeler Centre. In 2019, she undertook
the Emerging Cultural Leaders residency at Footscray Arts and also completed a Masters of
Socially Engaged Art at RMIT, receiving the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Academic

Trixi Rosa’s work is a tender and restless unravelling of self. She uses personal narrative to
carve an awkward inquiry into the intersections of identity and endless pursuit of place.
Moving through word, body, matter and space, she shares stories of stillness and fluidity,
resilience and vulnerability.

Artist Resale Royalties


The burgeoning secondary arts market has suddenly mushroomed since Covid 19, with an increasing number of auctions turning over millions of dollars’ worth of sales. In one week alone there can be three art auctions taking place, from iconic art works by significant Aotearoa NZ artists to works accessible to new collectors. Many of the artists whose works sell well at auction, are still living and most are still practising, and the fact is that none of the funds from sales accrues to the artists whose work is being sold.


Visual artists are entitled to a royalty payment each time an original artwork is resold on the secondary art market. The scheme is also referred to as Droit de suite (French for “right to follow”) where it originated. The scheme mirrors the royalties received by other artists, including composers and writers, when their work is reprinted or used in radio, television or film.


Artists Resale Royalties first became law in 1920 in France and to date around 80 countries have such a right. Droit de suite was created in France following the sale of Jean-Francois Millet‘s 1858 painting, the Angélus, in 1889 at the art collection sale of Eugène Secrétan, a French copper industrialist. The owner of the painting made a huge profit from this sale, whereas the family of the artist lived in poverty. Many artists, and their families, had suffered from the war, and droit de suite was a means to remedy socially difficult situations.



It is now 13 years since the Ministry of Culture and Heritage (MCH) produced a discussion paper on Artists Resale Royalties. When first surveyed in NZ in 2007, 65% of respondents supported the plan.

Artist Resale Royalties were introduced to Parliament as the Copyright (Artists’ Resale Right) Amendment Bill in May 2008. It stated artists will receive a 5% royalty payment on sales of NZD $500 or more, each time an original artwork is commercially sold through an auction house, gallery or professional dealer. Resale royalties on artworks will be due throughout the artist’s lifetime plus 50 years after the artist’s death.[1] In March 2009, the Government Committee reported that the Copyright (Artists’ Resale Right) Amendment Bill was not passed.[2] The issue of Resale Royalties for artists eventually disappeared. Since 2007, an additional 20 countries have introduced resale royalties.


Introducing our new General Manager

Amy Saunders is returning to New Zealand in the new year to take up the position of General Manager at the Depot Artspace and is honoured and delighted to take up this role.


Having lived between New Zealand and the UK for many years her family are returning to Devonport where they settled in 2013 before heading back to Scotland for a few years where her husband and family are from.


Amy has worked in the arts and creative sector for the last 20 years working with and supporting artists and arts organisations in New Zealand, the UK and internationally.


“I am thrilled and excited to be coming home to work with the Depot and all that it offers the community and artists across all genres. I can’t wait to spend more time with the team and members of the community to learn about how we can build on what has already been so lovingly created. This feels like a challenging but ripe time to acknowledge the role the arts have to play in society and the importance of looking after people from within our communities and from every corner of our communities, while still inspiring and supporting ambitious aspirations and projects.

“My thinking and outlook in life and work has always been very international but rooted locally and I’ve been lucky enough to follow a path that has allowed me to explore and connect with ideas and colleagues from around the world for most of my professional life.


I’m a strong believer in the power of collaboration and in continued exploration and learning in all that we do.


Amy comes to the Depot from her most recent post as Head of Participant Services and Arts Industry and Marketplace Manager at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which is the largest arts festival and marketplace in the world. She was also previously the General Manager and International Project Lead at Festivals Edinburgh, the strategic body that works with the 12 leading Edinburgh Festivals and was Senior International Adviser at Creative New Zealand for five years before returning to Edinburgh to take up the Fringe role.


Amy returns to Devonport with her husband Kenneth and their two daughters Isla (5) and Annie (3).

Seeking: New Exhibition Curator and Manager

We are seeking an Exhibition Curator and Manager to work with the wider Depot team to provide successful exhibition experiences for exhibitors and visitors.  If you are familiar with contemporary NZ arts and arts practice, enjoy building relationships with artists, audiences and volunteers and have a professional approach which includes strong administration skills, value collaboration with other places and projects, we invite you to apply for this position.
How to apply:

Please read the full Job Description requirements and apply though our website:

For further information please contact Lynn Lawton 021 685737

Depot Artspace Gallery Call Out – Exhibitions & Events 2021

Over the years, Depot’s adaptability and responsiveness to change have sustained it through the vagaries of life. While 2020 has thrown us all some major curve balls, we’re facing 2021 with optimism about the difference the arts can make to our future; both here in Aotearoa and to the world.

Depot Galleries are a part of this new future, and in 2021 we will be offering opportunities for exhibitions and events that are both responsive and give form to the changing creative landscape

The Depot Artspace kaupapa, “Creating an environment that encourages creating,” is brought to life through our exhibition programme where practising artists are able to attract and engage their audience in a multi-disciplinary creative space which embodies a strong sense of whanau community.

What exhibiting at the Depot means:

  • One of the key components of the Depot valued by its members and visitors is the experience of community and of wairua. Through both the culture of the Depot and its exhibitions, we draw people together.
  • As a multi-disciplinary creative community there are opportunities for cross-pollination, collaboration and an ongoing relationship.
  • Exhibiting artists are able to participate in our annual Members’ Show and any other exhibitions with a membership base.

Download the 2021 exhibition & events proposal form from:

Please email your proposal form to 

Sayed Ali Karam Jawhary

How did you start Nastaaliq Calligraphy, and what drew your interest to this art form?

I started in Afghanistan; the alphabet is similar to Nastaaliq calligraphy. So, I guess my interest started at seven years old in school. However, I had to flee the country due to warfare. Thus, I left and moved to Iran at 17/18 years old and saw an opportunity to take a Nastaaliq art calligraphy course, and my interest grew from there.

The Nasstaaliq calligraphy you create rotates around a particular poem or passage from ‘Ancient Persian Poets.’ What do you think is more critical the visual Art or the written words?

I don’t think it is possible to separate the two; they both go hand in hand.

What has been your most treasured art piece?

Perhaps the one I use on my business cards. Inspired by Rumi ‘Raise your world, not your voice.’

Ali, you have a very interesting/traditional way of crafting your art pieces through using a bit of bamboo as a pen and ink; where do you get your art supplies?

I usually get the bamboo from a park near my house and the ink I found in an art shop.

What’s the process of your art /how long does it take?

The process of my Art depends on my psyche that day and how I’m feeling. I usually listen to the famous Persian singer Shajarian. Though calligraphy, unlike other art mediums, you have to start again if you make any mistake. Though going back to how I’m feeling that day, it can usually take an estimation of between one day and two weeks to finish.

How do you hope to inspire others wanting to get into Nastaaliq calligraphy?

Well, they have to be absolutely madly in love with their Art as I am.

What does the future hold for you, and are you planning another exhibition?

Yes, I am, though it was supposed to sooner than now called ‘To be One Heart’ and to continue to teach and educate people through Art, as I believe that’s my duty and to quote Rumi, “we came to make this earth beautiful.”

Excerpts of interview article by Lee Lee Williams featured in Auckland Life  (12/11/20)

Tina Frantzen

1. What are Ley Lines?
Ley lines refer to straight alignments drawn between various historic structures and prominent landmarks

2. This exhibition is very personal to you. What is the main motivational factor for you in creating this exhibition?
As I have lived in Devonport for 50 years, it seemed a fitting time to reflect and celebrate that in my creative works. It is also the place of my first exhibition after completing my painting courses. I am very grateful to the Depot Artspace for then offering me a solo exhibition at Satellite, their gallery offshoot, thereby launching my art practice.

3. What’s your usual art making process/inspiration/how do you work?
I work very much by intuition, attempting always to capture ephemeral moments be they in words, in paint or in my camera. It requires a level of awareness and receptiveness which in turn helps to keep me grounded and in the present. I meditate before commencing painting and form my poetry in my head as I walk.

4. What was a challenging time & a time of highlight in your journey as an artist?
Following a diagnosis of cancer and some complicated and arduous treatment, I was unable to paint for quite some time. I missed that ability to be able to lose myself in my painting, however my camera was my constant companion and I was still creating images daily to document my journey that difficult year. The highlight in my painting is the exciting moment when a work just evolves in a way that totally surprises and delights me.
Another is the moment when a buyer falls in love with the painting that is really meant for them, none of which can ever be planned! I love to know that my works are re-homed with people who feel they really need that particular work.
Being selected as a finalist in the Wallace Art Awards in 2015.

5. Which 3 artists (dead/alive) would you like to have dinner with?
Rembrandt whose works I love and who has been my inspiration, Leonardo da Vinci, who is a polymath and a genius in so many fields beyond his painting, Kandinsky whose paintings are free and joyous.

Rembrandt: “Without atmosphere a painting is nothing.”

Kandinsky: “Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.”

6. What advice would you give to a younger Tina starting out in the creative industry?
JUST DO IT! Be true to your own work which is your own fingerprint and avoid self judgement and doubt. Become part of a group of like minded creatives who support, encourage and inspire each other. Every so often experiment and play with totally unfamiliar materials. Happy accidents can happen that may spark a different direction.

7. What would you like to achieve within the next 10 years?
To develop a consistent coherent body of work that challenges me and continues to evolve, surprise and delight me.

8. What are 5 most important items/tools in your creative practice?
Apart from the obvious i.e. materials it would be: my camera, my resources for my mediation, particular music, a space that provides solitude and finally my much highlighted, post-it noted, well thumbed go-to book for inspiration, reassurance, problem solving and all round wonderful assistance for any creative.

Tina’s exhibition at Depot Artspace:

Tina’s Website:

John Horner

  1. Tell us about the title of your show “Plein Air & More”
    Plein Air painting and sketching have been a way of life to me on my travels. And ‘More’ refers to works developed from these studies in the studio.
  2. If you could master one tool/skill, what would it be?
    The skill of capturing atmospheres and experiences in paint is key to me.
  3. What’s your usual art making process/inspiration/how do you work?
    I work in short periods of intensive energy. If the creative juices are flowing run with it  if not I quickly do something else.
  4. What are some challenges and perks of being an artist?
    A perk is always having something to do, in retirement and lockdown. Challenge is to stay motivated and positive.
  5. Which 3 artists (dead/alive) would you like to have dinner with?
    Colin McCahon, l wish I had talked to him more at art school.
    Max Ernst, zany character.
    Henri Matisse – a great inspiration but I would have to learn more French.
  6. ​What advice would you give to a younger John starting out in the creative industry?
    Have confidence in yourself and take opportunities. Teaching is a good way to impart knowledge.
  7. What would you like to achieve within the next 10 years?
    Travel a lot and exhibit every couple of years. Stay alive.
  8. What are 5 most important items/tools in your studio?
    Full bodied quality acrylics, screen printing squeegee, watercolour set for travel, good range of brushes, Schminke pastels (brilliant).
  9. What excites you the most about your upcoming exhibition?
    Its the first time I have exhibited plein air sketches in my career, also looking forward to the Depot Artspace as a great venue and being back on the shore.

John’s exhibition at Depot Artspace:

John’s website: 

Akiko Diegel


1. Tell us about the title of your show “the day before tomorrow”

It is because “today” = the present, and the things that exist in the present may, or may not, remain by tomorrow. The title talks about the uncertainty of the world which we live in.

2. If you could master one tool/skill, what would it be?

Photographic memory of world around me.

3. What’s your usual art making process/inspiration/how do you work? 

Collect information from the world around me such as dismissed events, the mundane, everyday life, forgotten, worn, or abandoned items, and recollection. And from this information, I will deconstruct and reconstruct the concept and images and use this information to create artworks.

4. What are some challenges and perks of being an artist?

I love the big challenges of creating art works from scattered information and new ideas.
Enriching my world through my art practice is one of the biggest pleasures of being an artist.

5. Which 3 artists (dead/alive) would you like to have dinner with?

Ann Hamilton(U.S.A), Ceal Floyer(U.K) , Francis Alÿs (Belgium/ Mexico)

6. What advice would you give to a younger Akiko starting out in the creative industry?

Keep your eyes wide open and don’t stop creating.

7. What would you like to achieve within the next 10 years?

My dream is to hold an exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof Museum in Berlin (one of the most beautiful art gallery in the world in my opinion).

8. What are 5 most important items/tools in your studio?

  • 25 hexagonal ball point gel ink pen from Muji.
  • Double ring note A5 from Muji
  • Impact 3B1 Note Book (32 leaves 64 pages 7mm ruled),
  • iphone 11pro,
  • Mac Book Pro

9. Is there an underlying message you want share through your artworks/art practice?

The most important thing I found through my art practice was actually meeting and expanding my circle of new friends. They enrich my world and life.


Akiko’s current exhibtion:

Akiki’s website:

Survey for Creative Employment Programme


Image: Revolution Creative & Artslab at employment expo


In May 2020, during Covid-19 Lockdown, the Government announced $7. 9 million to support creative job seekers, building on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to Arts and Cultural Employment (PACE) programme.

At Depot Artspace we decided to develop a survey that asked creatives across all practices what they wanted from a such a programme.


Susanne Khouri

1. How did you get into printmaking?

There was no more room in the painting department at art school (!). They suggested I stay in the printmaking department and also take part in the painting department. But I got hooked on printmaking and stayed.

2. If you could master one tool/skill, what would it be?

To have an ease in drawing people.

3. What’s your usual art making process/how do you work?

 I enjoy my Aquatint plates very much because I can control not only the colour but the intensity of it. Make it strong and deep like velvet or light as a whisper. The screens enable me to add imagery and context.

4. What are some challenges and perks of being an artist?

Challenge: Finding galleries to show my work in. Perks.:… Artmaking is ageless.

5. Which 3 artists (dead/alive) would you like to have dinner with?

Melissa Smith (Australia), Helen Frankenthaler and Nancy Spero.

​6. What advice would you give to a younger Susanne starting out in the creative industry?
As Kurt Vonnegut said “…practice… no matter how well or badly, not to get money or  fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.” To study what art can be.

7. What would you like to achieve within the next 10 years?

To survive Covid 19, to make and to make and to get better.

8. What are 5 most important items/tools in your studio?

My plates, my printing press, my silkscreens, my water blaster and my inks.


Susanne’s Feature Wall exhibition details:

Check out Susanne’s website:

Sefton Rani

1. How did you coin up the term “Urban Tapa”?

It was just one of those things that pop into your head and sticks and won’t go away so I figured I should embrace it. As a term it made sense to me as a way to try and separate the work I was making from the traditional concept of tapa and give it a relevance to my environment.

2. If you could master one tool/skill, what would it be?

Alchemy would be financially rewarding but the ability to always stay present would be the skill . Life is short so I don’t want to waste it thinking about the perceptions of the past or the fantasy of the future.

3. What’s your usual art making process/how do you work? 

I create primarily with paint skins that are cast on glass, plastic or objects. These are between 1 -30 layers thick which I collage and layer until a certain visual density is created. I then distress it with combustion, chisels or other implements to give it the wabi sabi feel of the object having a history or having been on a journey. I work 6-7 days a week typically 9-10 hours in the studio each day.

4. What are some challenges and perks of being an artist?

The main perk is my commute to work is walking down 15 steps each morning! I also get to do something that is primordial and essentially human which is to create. The outcome of that creation is irrelevant the ability to make is all that counts. The challenge is once you fully surrender to being an  artist it consumes you. I can’t do or see anything now that I am not automatically analysing colours shapes or form. Also the financial impact of committing to an artistic practice is well known. However I offset that by being an aware that when you know the outcome of something it is an event. I have no idea where my work will go or where it will take me and that is living.

5. Which 3 artists (dead/alive) would you like to have dinner with?

Mark Bradford, Robert Rauschenberg and Ralph Hotere.

​6. What advice would you give to a younger Sefton starting out in the creative industry?

Find your community of fellow artists earlier than I did / am currently doing. These artists are your brothers and sisters that understand the solo war you go through in the studio. Also when in doubt especially before a show (and you always will be) read Martha Graham’s letter which is below. It is advice she gave to a dancer who thought her performance wasn’t good enough. I’m not sure if anything truer has been written in the art world ever. “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

7. What would you like to achieve within the next 10 years?

I paint because when I ask how can I make the world a better place the word painting flashes in my minds eye. In 10 years I hope I can get to a place where that is maximised. I trust if I give myself fully and honestly to that and don’t block the flow the universe will get me there.

8. What are 5 most important items/tools in your studio?

My laptop and the stereo connected to it and the 6 speaks that surround me with sound. That way I can control the tempo of the work in the studio depending on what I listen to.

Lighting in my studio. I have a lot of LED tubes to light it up but living in Piha we often have power cuts so when the power stops so does the painting.

My 2 big 2.5 metre long working tables which allow me to work on multiple pieces at once.

A butane torch, it’s how I get the interesting patinas on the paint.

The driveway outside the studio door. In summer it becomes a 15 metre extension of my studio where I can leave the skins out to dry.


Sefton will be exhibition his new series of works in the main gallery 15th August – 2nd September. For more info visit:

Check out Sefton’s website:



Re-Framing the Future



“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Buckminster Fuller

Covid 19 has catapulted us into the unknown. We are trying to make sense of the future and the political, economic and social landscape provides no clear or recognisable signposts. The horizon is so far indistinct and generates insecurity and trepidation. For many of us certainty is more important than possibility, even though it’s littered with the casualties of a flawed system.


Vacancy: Depot Sound Manager

Depot Sound is a well-respected community recording studio, based at Depot Artspace on Auckland’s North Shore. Since 1998 it has worked with many artists, from world renowned musicians to emerging aspirants and has a reputation for both professionalism and a cool community vibe.

Depot Sound is looking for a person with a great track record in audio engineering and studio management able to work with a diversity of clients, genres and generations.

Our ideal applicant is well-connected, well informed and keeps current with trends in the music industry.

Depot Sound is part of Depot Artspace, an interactive creative community, with a commitment to supporting the creative sector across all practices.  This is a full time position.  Please contact Lynn Lawton for a position description and for further information about this position.

  Ph 021685737

Depot Sound Website:


A Face to the Future: Depot Artspace Perspective on the Creative Community Post Covid-19

This submission to the Local Board’s Annual Plan was prepared before Covid-19 required NZers to Lock down, leaving many community organisations and small businesses uncertain of, and in many instances fearful for their future. It has been reiterated by government and business leaders that there will be a ‘new normal’, although its form has not yet been described. However, prior to Lockdown Depot Artspace had been considering its direction with regard to the changing shape of the creative sector both internationally and locally, in all spheres of practice, employment, service delivery and audience engagement.

Our submission raises these issues as we contemplate a more relevant, responsive and subsequently viable future which is actually synchronistic with the future following the current crisis. In this submission, we address the efficacy of a local focus, built on Devonport’s rich early history, its creative whakapapa, small business infrastructure and strong sense of identity.

This full submission can be downloaded here: LOCAL BOARD Plan Submission 2020




We have included this letter on the Arts In Action page, because we believe that alternative views by  people with a long history of involvement in creating a more equitable society need to be given a platform.  John Minto has a significant and respected reputation for actively and passionately working for social justice in Aotearoa.


“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.  The world needs a new vision of what is possible, ‘that can galvanize people around the world to achieve higher levels of cooperation in areas of common concern and shared destiny.” Buckminster Fuller circa 1965

Nigel Brown. 2012  Exhibited at the Depot during the exhibition, ‘Sum of the Parts’