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Barbara Matthews

Barbara Matthews, a retired Auckland University lecturer and self-taught artist, channels her passion for drawing into every piece she creates. Throughout her career, not only has she taught art, but she has also collaborated with Northland poet Tony Clemow to illustrate a book. Her signature artistic elements include a woven, plaited flax rope that serves as a dual metaphor for both danger and safety. Additionally, she uniquely frames her artwork within circular surrounds, evoking the intimate view as if through a porthole or stained glass, adding a compelling depth and perspective to her work.

Central to her art is the use of whakatauki, Mãori proverbs, which she incorporates to pass on the wisdom of the past. This reflects her deep respect for te Ao Maoriu, drawn significantly from her husband's heritage. Albert Matthews is of Ngãti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa descent, belonging to Ngãti Moe hapu. Barbara is profoundly influenced by this connection, especially as she supports her husband through his severe dementia.

Drawing remains her solace, and she continues to create handcrafted items, including bespoke cards, sharing her art with friends, family, and the community and now a celebrated range available at Celebrate Aotearoa. Barbara Matthews uses a variety of materials for her artwork, including Faber-Castell watercolor pencils, Staedtler pigment liners, and occasionally watercolour paints. She selects high-quality, acid-free paper such as Bockingford, Seawhite of Brighton, and Reeves based on availability. Barbara also creates unique reproductions by reworking photocopy prints of her original work, making each piece slightly different but preserving the essence of the original.

It's important to note that pricing reflects the distinction between originals and reproductions, with originals being priced accordingly to emphasize their unique value.

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