In a small New Zealand forestry village, there were streets of identical homes provided to all forestry workers’ families. Every four years or so each family was allowed to have their house re-painted the colour of their choice. With many Pacific Island and Maori families within the village, the house colours chosen were blue, they were pink, red, green, turquoise, and so the community was forever known as Rainbow Valley. As a small impressionable child, Shona’s love for colour was established.
Shona’s oil paintings reflect her childhood and her personality today. They are large, free, bright canvases that portray the world around her in a positive light. They can uplift the most dejected, lighten the darkest mood and provide pleasure and goodwill to those who experience the art or meet the artist. Shona’s work is loose and uninhibited yet highly skilled. It is these qualities that have seen her develop from a small-time beachfront hobbyist in a tiny town at the edge of the world, to an established, credible artist held in collections all over the world.
The glossy magazine articles, the front-page newspaper stories, and national television coverage have all followed Shona’s career closely and provided positive critical acclaim along the way. Unconcerned with following rules and conventions, it was her controversial work, back in 2001 that gained her national notoriety when it was banned from public display. Never conventional, Shona is happier following her own path with explosive colours, textures and with high artistic integrity.
Shona loves meeting those who come to buy her art, and in fact she insists on it. Shona rejects constant approaches by dealer galleries so that she can connect directly with her customers. This somewhat old fashioned approach allows Shona to ensure her work is going to good homes, and her clients are rewarded by buying directly from her avoiding middlemen (and their commissions). Those who meet Shona during this experience are touched by her bubbly, friendly yet quirky personality and always comment that getting a piece was worth the wait.
Although a third of Shona’s work is now purchased by overseas collectors, Shona remains committed to living in the clean open spaces of New Zealand. It is there in her Mount Maunganui studio that she has the space and freedom to form her thoughts, to experience the light & colour and to create. She understands how difficult and long it can be for some of her clients to secure an original work especially those based off-shore.
From humble beginnings, Shona has proven that art can be colourful, jubilant, loose and free, aesthetically pleasing yet intelligent and at the same time still appreciate in value. Her positive work crosses international boundaries that language cannot; feeling good the way one does when viewing her work has no borders.