Sharon Fitness grew up in a small town in the Waikato and moved out as soon as possible in search of less normal people. Sharon holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Auckland University at MSVA. She is a member of the Auckland Jewellery Geeks, the Jewellers Guild of Greater Sandringham and co-editor of the Overview newsletter. She believes in saving the world one brooch at a time.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Thomas Fonua is of Samoan and Tongan descent. He began dancing at the age of seven. He completed his formal training with the Black Grace Dance Company, where he also spent five years dancing for the company full-time as a leading male performer. He has been touring internationally since the age of 16. Thomas has worked for major companies in New Zealand, Australia and Canada and is currently preparing to take part in the creation of Australian Dance Theatre’s new work, Multi-Verse by Garry Stewart.
Tanu Gago was born in Samoa and raised in Manukau City. He draws on his unique perspective and life in South Auckland to make art that directly engages with urban social issues including the fluid nature of ethnic and gender identities. Gago held his first solo exhibition, YOU LOVE MY FRESH at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in 2010 and went on to show his first photographic series, Jerry the Fa’afafine (In The Manner of a Samoan Man) at City Gallery Wellington in 2011. His follow-up series, Avanoa O Tama was developed for a solo exhibition at Fresh Gallery Otara and went on to be shown as part of Home AKL at Auckland Art Gallery in 2012. This year, Gago has received the Auckland Festival of Photography Annual Commission and will be holding a solo exhibition in central Auckland in May. He holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts majoring in Directing for Film & Television.
Australian born, Wulgurukaba country, Rebecca Ann Hobbs is a contemporary fine art practitioner and currently academic staff at the Manukau Institute of Technology in Otara, Auckland. Working with new media to create video and still images that mostly address issues around class, gender and race. Hobbs has been selected to participate in many international exhibitions at notable institutes such as; the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen in Germany, the Centre Pompidou in France and the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia. In 2002 Hobbs received the Australian Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship, allowing her to undertake tertiary education at the California Institute of the Arts, where she completed a Masters in Fine Arts in 2005.
Leilani Kake is a practising video installation artist and educator. Having exhibited broadly throughout New Zealand at venues including Auckland Art Gallery, City Gallery Wellington and Fresh Gallery Otara, Leilani has also featured in exhibitions in Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, France, Taiwan and the United States. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Auckland and is based in Otahuhu, South Auckland.
Nicole Lim is a South Auckand based visual artist of South-East Asian descent and currently works as the Gallery Coordinator at Fresh Gallery Otara; an Auckland Council community art gallery located in South Auckland. Having trained at the Manukau School of Visual Arts, Lim completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts from the University of Auckland in 2007.
Steve Lovett is a practicing artist and art educator teaching on the University of Auckland Bachelor of Visual Arts Degree programme and Manukau Institute of Technology, Faculty of Creative Arts programme. His work has been show nationally, through out New Zealand and internationally at fine print and graphic arts exhibitions. His work is held in public and private collections in New Zealand, Europe, China and North America. Lovett maintains an active project-based studio and research practice that is informed by ongoing theoretical investigations around questions of representation in visual narratives and sound archives. Of particular research interest to Lovett in his practice is the interrelationship of photography and print. Both media factor heavily in the formation of archives and documentary forms and the transmission of social, aesthetic, political and technical forms information. Born in Ponsonby Auckland, Lovett now lives and works from a studio space in this same neighborhood.
Jo Mears is an artist, educator and independent curator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts majoring in digital printmaking from Auckland University at Manukau (MSVA) in 2002 and in 2003 completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Secondary Art) Teaching at Auckland College of Education. She currently teaches Art, Design and Photography at a North Auckland Secondary School.
Richard Orjis is an artist who lives and works in Auckland City. His work often deals with ideas of connection and the natural and has been exhibited throughout New Zealand, North America and Europe.
Molly Rangiwai-McHale is of Maori, Chinese, Scottish, and Irish decent. She has a BA in Visual Arts from the University of Auckland. She is a multimedia artist & has exhibited her work in both group & solo shows.
Sangeeta Singh is a Fiji-born artist. She uses her art to express social constructs regarding race, gender and sexuality. Women, family, history, love, dilemma and chaos inspire her work. Frida Kahlo sums up how she feel as an ‘artist’ “I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”
Fijian native, Luisa Tora is a final year BA Creative Arts (Visual Arts) student at the Faculty of Creative Arts, Manukau Institute of Technology. She is a multidisciplinary creative, an activist, and a writer.
Pati Solomona Tyrell was born and raised in Hamilton but now resides in Papatoetoe, South Auckland. He is currently studying to complete a Diploma of Visual Arts at the Faculty of Creative Arts, Manukau Institute of Technology.
Kerrie-Anne Van Heerden is a collagist and image maker who repurposes disparate imagery sourced from encyclopaedias and ‘how-to’ sex manuals. She explores and investigates notions about sex, sexuality, surface and representation. Her figures are emphasised as actions as she is interested in exploring the boundaries between pornography and art.