Allyson Hamblett profiles fellow artist, Antonia Nicoll
Antonia Nicoll has been at Mapura Studios for about 13 years. She loves being creative and enjoys telling stories about her life through her artwork. Themes that run through Antonia's work include love and disability. Her work also has a political edge. She loves portraits, figures in space and using bright colours to communicate her ideas. Her work has a delicate quality to it.
Antonia is currently working on a triptych, describing the "modes of transport" used by disabled people to get around: for example wheelchair and walker. An important piece for this artist to talk about how she gets around, and the changes in her mobility over the years.
Last year she made a series of works about Mork, from the 1980's television series, "Mork and Mindy". She loved Robin Williams, the actor who played Mork, and Antonia's art series was in relation to the untimely passing of the actor in 2014.
Love is another theme that runs through the artists work, with one artwork titled "Me and my boyfriend" which she completed in 2014.
Antonia painted Santa Clause last Christmas and she really enjoys this time of year, reciting a family Christmas poem at the end of year event that Mapura Studios holds. She loves to use her art practice to make Christmas cards for everyone.
Antonia had her work selected for the International Women's Day event at Royal Oak office of CCS Disability Action Auckland. Mapura provided a small exhibition for this event. When Antonia was asked How do you feel about being an artist? she responded:
"Oh yes! It's cool, I like being brilliant, show out your attitude, the way you can do things."
Antonia has had her artwork exhibited quite a few times over the 13 years at Mapura Studios. She's had work exhibited at Studio One, Mairangi Bay Arts Centre, Northart, Corbans Estate, Pah Homestead, and has had work shown at Aotea Centre.
In 2014 Antonia painted a series of works around the political leadership battles within the New Zealand Labour Party:
“The Labour Party are good. I’ve always been involved with Labour. I think they do well. At the time there was competition choosing who was going to get there [as leader and deputy of the Labour party]. David Cunliffe was leader at the time. I felt at this stage that it was going to be Andrew Little. Didn't I do well!”
Antonia’s creative life doesn't stop and end at Mapura. She goes to Community Care on Tuesday morning which focuses on craft and creativity. Community Care operates from the same building that Mapura Studio started out in, the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall .
Antonia also attends PHAB, a social / support group for physically disabled and able bodied people and once a week she and other friends learn Te Reo.