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Shore artist lands Venice residency

Flagstaff Team

In miniature… Celia Walker makes intricate unfolding books

Artist Celia Walker draws on her surroundings to fashion intricate unfolding stories that have won her a print-making residency in Venice in November.

But from next week she is displaying her skills closer to home, in an exhibition of her art books at Takapuna Library.

Walker, a former co-ordinator for the Devonport peninsula’s Restoring Takarunga Hauraki group, references the environment in much of her work.

Her unfolding art books include pages of prints looking at waterways, harbour edges and tree growth. Her focus is on the underlying issues of coastal ecology and climate change.

Over the first Covid lockdown, she also homed in on street scenes from her walks, depicting everyday objects such as shopping trolleys and traffic cones.

Her Takapuna show includes a mix of new and previously exhibited works, her ‘Walking Distance’ prints having been shown at the Depot Artspace in Devonport in late 2020. Local volcanic landscapes are another subject.

“As a printmaker who works on paper, it’s good to move away from things behind glass,” she says of the appeal of creating art books. These often-miniature, detailed works are both an opportunity to tell a visual story and to create more intricate pieces.

The Devonport resident splits her time between writing and print-making. She has also been learning Italian in readiness for her residency, which she said she applied for after getting itchy feet. She will spend her time at a large print-making studio in central Venice.

One of the residency’s conditions is that she leave a work behind, but she also hopes to use the time to produce a book linking New Zealand and Venice in some way. The threat of climate change on places surrounded by ocean is a likely connection.

  • Shelter in Place by Celia Walker is at the Angela Morton, upstairs at Takapuna Library from 13 August to 29 September.

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