I started my artistic journey in New Zealand as a new
mother creating bright and colourful artworks for children, which led to the
decision to study. Firstly at The Central Institute of Technology, where I was
given a commission to design a mural for Conductive Education, came first place
in the Studio Ceramics Student Design Competition and won the Katy Austin Award
for Achievement. I then studied at The Learning Connection and received my
Diploma in Art, along with success at the regular student exhibitions.
After completing study I went straight into exhibiting (solo and group shows) at venues in the Wellington region and in national art shows (including: The NZ Affordable Art Show and The Original Art Sale.) I started gaining recognition for my work receiving ‘Best Acrylic’ in the Paraparaumu Rotary Art show (2007) and second place in the NZ Art Guild Art Awards (2008).
In 2009 I moved to Melbourne and my work has been continually evolving since then. I have been moving away from the canvas and developing ways to combine my love of altered books, art dolls, collage, painting and assemblage to create mixed media and assemblage works combining found and recycled mediums with more traditional mediums. This has given me an opportunity to develop more environmentally considerate work and give new life and meaning to otherwise unwanted materials.
During this time I have also been developing my illustration skills. Examples of my art can be viewed at: www.kellygatchellhartley.com.au