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Artist Profile

Born 1968 Kim Michaela Stark. Takaka Golden Bay.

Over the years I have enjoyed various artistic mediums and ceramics is quite a recent addition to my creative repertoire. Oddly enough I was surrounded by pottery in my childhood as my father John Stark at the time was a potter in Golden Bay. Dad’s pottery work shed was my creative haven where I enjoyed making small clay animals to sell in the studio gallery. I never thought of pursing it as an art form later. Since rediscovering it as an adult I have found it to be incredibly tactile and it offers much scope for various usages. Currently I am using clay predominantly in slab work form. Rolled clay to the desired thickness then it is decorated with slips or pressed into a textured relief. It is then finally assembled into vessels or more abstract pieces. Influences for the decorative motifs on my ceramics are many and varied. My childhood in Parapara, Golden Bay a small seaside settlement has left impressionable memories, particularly of the sea, river and natural surroundings. Freedom to fossick and venture over scrub covered hillsides and wonder endless sea shores still has that attraction to this day. The pull of the aquatic based theme is one I constantly return too. Those times of endless summer days swimming in the river or at the beach as a youngster has heightened my appreciation of these things as an adult. After taking up scuba diving in 2007 my mind has been opened to another world below the surface. Textures, patterns, colours of the sea life have been inspirational in my ceramics and art. The delicate balance of nature and man is one I am conscious of too. Other influences to name a few are textiles, indigenous art and craft and insects. Most of my creative ideas start in my sketchpad which I refer to constantly. From here my skills with the pencil have given me a great freedom to express my art and they are frequently rendered in a fluid like manner. This is particularly evident with the use of slip clay on my ceramic vessels. My career background in graphic design, structural carton design and signwriting has added much to my skill base too. With this broad scope of multi media I have at hand I look forward to my artistic future with relish.