Kristin Kay

Guest Artist on the 2024 Arts Trail

Originally from the North Shore in Auckland, I moved to West Auckland in my early 20s and decided to move to Whangarei in the early 2000’s for a lifestyle change. Here I followed my passion for art and in 2005 I graduated from Northtec with a Bachelor of Visual Arts, specialising in ceramic sculpture. This changed the way I viewed life and gave me a new perspective on things.

During my last and 4th year of study, I was fortunate enough to start a part time job at The Quarry Arts Centre in Whangarei. I worked in a range of tasks including administration, exhibition curation, organising studio holders, art supplies, classes and more. I loved it. The role eventually became a full- time position for 5 years before a glass production studio head hunted me for a second in charge role. Throughout this time I continued with my arts practice.

Since then, I have continued to develop a unique style with my 3D sculptures, continuously challenging myself with new shapes, new creatures and pushing the limits of what clay can do. With time and practice, the ratio alternates between failures and successes. 

Over time I have been involved in more than 40 group exhibitions/shows in local, notional and international (Rome and Florence). I have twice been awarded 1st place in the Whangarei District Council’s yearly ceramics exhibition, where the winners work is purchased for public display in the city’s collection.

Pre art days, during childhood, I was always interested in being creative, due to my eldest sister who would construct wondrous and mysterious games and tasks using her imagination. She was also very creative. Unfortunately when I was 11 and just after her 19th birthday, she passed away in a car accident. I have always felt she is with me in my art practice.

My sculptures have emerged to show emotion, be that negative or positive.  I use human facial expressions on my creatures, and I feel they express their positions in non-verbal communication, which evokes how we all relate, to some degree.  Sometimes screaming, sometimes scowling and maybe condescendingly smirking.  I tend to lean more towards the ugly and the macabre.  I find it more interesting to look at the hypothetical cracks and creases of the inner soul that time has created.  I have no plan for the path my work will take in the future, I trust the process of life.

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