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Creative Matters with Natalie Holland

Natalie Holland is a textile artist from Wellington. She produces bright and colourful punch needle pieces that feature motifs and patterns used in hiapo (Niuean tapa cloth), linking to her Niuean heritage.

Her works are made using 100% NZ wool and feature botanical and geometric elements in a wide range of often unexpected colour combinations. Natalie’s work enables her to reflect on the important women in her life and the impact the history of women’s making, sewing and crafting has had on her own creative development. The results are beautifully crafted and contemporary works that pay homage to the traditional design language of her Niuean heritage as well as to generations of women to whom making has been a fundamental part of everyday life.

I absolutely adored talking to Natalie. We talk about how her hiapo inspired art has helped her to connect with her Niuean heritage and learn more about Nuie. It was only 2 years ago that Natalie started her art practice and in time started calling herself an artist.  She explains how she started creating her punch needle works, what she has learnt over this time, how research has informed her developing practice, the goals she set for herself in her first year of making, how she put herself out there and her early success selling her work.

We discuss the challenges of pricing work as a 'new' artist and the support she has sourced to help build her art career. Natalie goes into fascinating depth about punch needle stitches, framing, fabric, wool, lacing at the back of the work and how she comes up with her designs.

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