Wendy Hannah (English, Ngati Awa, Te Arawa) is a contemporary Auckland based artist. Educated at Elam, her practice has led her to work with colour, refractive, reflective materiality, and recently light.
“My practice is founded on experimental methodology and a keen interest in the scientific properties of colour and paint. I am fascinated by how light, colour and landform play and dance together in an environment… this pushes my experimentation with juxtaposing materials into a new dimension by incorporating thick, thin, sticky, glossy pigments on unexpected sculptural supports.”
– Wendy Hannah, 2021.
Her oeuvre is derived from the visual rendering of ukutuku (a traditional Māori craft used to bind and weave which also represents the whānau (family) in Māori thought), which she presents in its most abstract form, as an ‘X’. Upon this she further extrapolates traditional processes by making her own paint, applying dynamic hues and shapes of colour to her forms to create works of art that interweave tradition, place and ideology.
In this latest series ‘Home’, the ’X’ shape reflects its surroundings like a kaleidoscope of mirrors, the vibrant colours of the multi coloured Perspex panels, reflect and refract their environment, creating beacons of light, akin to a Fresnel lens.
Wendy’s interest in the human condition, and how colour and shape can affect people is a driving force behind the immersive nature of her practice. Growing up in Mount Maunganui the artist was surrounded by the ocean – an ever-changing dispersive prism. Her works reside in residential and commercial spaces throughout New Zealand and Internationally.