Local artist creates nude ink paintings fuelled with energy

Local artist and rising talent, Dominique Marriott, is turning the creative process on its head with her new must-see performance-based exhibition in Hamilton at the end of this month.

Visitors will be able to experience how Dominique infuses the ancient practice of Japanese brush calligraphy into her nude paintings, in an energetic performance where the artist paints live from a nude model in the gallery.

The artist will quickly paint a large volume of ink works using a Japanese calligraphy brush, with each piece completed in just a few minutes. Only a few are selected later as final artworks. The performance will allow visitors to really engage with Dominique’s creative process.

“It’s a pretty risky strategy because artists usually present only their most successful pieces to the public, but here I’m inviting you to engage with the whole process, flaws and all,” says Dominique. “I try to remain free from judgement, so I can work intuitively. This technique is really about putting your energy into the work itself and being totally mentally present during it.”

Dominique is also going to be participating in the Raglan Arts Weekend over Easter where visitors will be able to purchase her work and chat to her about the creative process. Dominique’s practice is influenced largely by Zen and the Japanese Arts. The artist has been learning Shodō—the Way of Japanese Calligraphy—to fully understand the principles at play. Shodō is substantially rooted in philosophy. It’s a form of active meditation that trains the mind to flow freely, without judgement or attachment.

“It is said that ink markings allow us to see our character or our current state of mind,” Dominique explains.  “Ink is a difficult, unforgiving medium. It’s very responsive, so the slightest hesitation will show on paper.”

Visitors to Dominique’s exhibition in Hamilton will also get to witness the unique life drawing experience, usually only accessible to artists. “In this setting, nudity is comfortable and completely natural,” explains Dominique.  “I believe this should be experienced by a wider audience.”

Dominique has a degree in Visual Arts from Unitec in Auckland. More recently, she has been tutored by Nelson-based Akiko Crowther, one of the few Grand Master Calligraphers outside of Japan. Akiko has recognised Dominique’s talent and expressed an interest in mentoring  the artist to become a Master Calligrapher herself. “It’s a pretty exciting time for me and it’s definitely having a profound impact on my life outside of my work too,” says Dominique.

Don’t miss out on Dominique’s performance exhibition in Hamilton at Freit Contemporary, 10 High St. 18 April, 5:30 pm (performance starts at 6 pm). Limited spaces available so bookings are essential. Email: info@dominiquemarriott.com. Exhibition open until 11 May.

During the Raglan Arts Weekend over Easter, Dominique will be displaying her work with fellow artist Marise Rarere, below Raglan House, 45 Bow St. Sat to Mon, 10 am to 5 pm.

Old School Arts Centre