Michelle Barber talks to Belinda Fabris about her journey from finger-painting to making Egyptian jars of the dead to honour Kiwi native birds.
I met Belinda Fabris when she submitted one of her quirky characters in the Waiheke Art in the Garden Art Auction for the Jassy Dean Trust several years ago. The Waiheke-based sculptural artist uses ceramics and clay as her primary medium. Her pieces challenge the values and perceptions of the beholder via a variety of quirky characters portrayed with animal-like features but very human backstories. A playfulness and detail elevates these works – they are not caricatures but lovingly distorted reflections of our own human behaviours. Her canopic bird jars are the next foray expressing her love and protection of Waiheke’s bird life.
Michelle Barber: What’s your background?
Belinda Fabris: I was born and raised on Mt Albert in Auckland. My mother and grandmother were highly creative, independant and entrepreneurial women. My father’s creativity provided a beautiful garden for my brother and I to grow up in.
I’ve always loved art, however I began my career path in a medical laboratory. I broadened my horizons and travelled and worked in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Europe and London. On my return to New Zealand, I became involved in the commercial side of science. Then I purchased my own recruitment business which kept me busy until I sold it in 2008.
My husband Steve and I then took time out and lived on our boat for a while. We loved visiting Waiheke: the island of artists, lovers of the sea and fishing was a perfect combination. Waiheke felt like home to us both and we have now been full time residents here for eight years. Soon after arriving, I enrolled in the Otago distance learning Diploma of Visual Arts and established my ceramic studio at Burrell Road and now at 309 Seaview Road.
Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!