Collection: Esther Smith

About the Work 

Echoes of another time, another place, another life. A whisper of unease of mystery, evoking feelings - stirring memories. Objects out of context, spaces that are unknown yet familiar.

A lover of colour, a seductive iridescent shimmer, a flash of metallic, the sensual folds of satin.  

I have always been experimental with the material I use, adding textured papers, thread, fabric, gold leaf, inks and paint to create a tactile and alluring surface.

Recently I have been exploring the possibilities of resin: the sometimes unexpected chemical reactions between pigments, room temperature and resin temperature can have a magical outcome - or not! Exciting and terrifying all at once.  

Reoccurring Theme

Transience, the human construct of time: linear, cyclical etc, duality: microcosm/macrocosm, Dionysian/Apollonian  and utopian/dystopian.

My inspiration

 Bedtime stories of Arabian Nights, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Sinbad the Sailor movies with my Father, Star Trek and Doctor Who after school TV, were all wonderfull fuel for a young imagination. A teenage fascination with mythology and the discovery of Joseph Campbell, Camille Paglia, a touch of poetry and Philosophy at art school have all played a part in informing the content of my work. 

About Life

I graduated with a bachelor of Visual Art and Design from EIT Hawkes Bay in 2001. 

From 2000 to 2010 I participated in many group exhibitions and regularly supplying  work to Statements gallery in Napier first, then Tamarillo gallery in Wellington and finally Parnell gallery Auckland.

Primarily working in Acrylic on board for my abstract paintings and acrylic and oils on canvas for my realistic paintings.

In 2006 I met Guillaume, a French winemaker working a vintage in NZ; we married in 2009. The following year I said to him ‘I am living my dream of being an artist, what is your dream’. His reply was to plant a small vineyard and to create his own wine label. So that’s what we did - in 2010 we bought a padlock on the Waimarama road Hawkes Bay, planted the gardens (I am an avid gardener, I love my flowers), built a cottage; in 2012 our daughter Lilly was born, we planted our vineyard, built the main house, established our wine label - Maison Noire ( ).

In 2019 I tried to make space for art in my life once again, producing just 2 small paintings for an exhibition at Muse.

In 2020 I decided it was time for me to commit to paint again. I have a wonderfull studio in the cottage, surrounded by gardens, trees and birdsong. It is good to be painting again.