Monday, 28 February 2011

NZ Prints - Christchurch Earthquake Update 2

From Monday 28th February NZ Prints staff are now working at our temporary office outside of the CBD.  All our computer systems are unaffected and running as normal.  Please note all NZ Fine Prints contact details such as phone numbers and email addresses have been diverted and have not changed - all NZ Prints contact details are listed here.  Artists and suppliers please re-direct all deliveries from 28th February to our temporary office at 139 Hackthorne Rd, Cashmere. 

We are currently unable to ship art print and poster orders due to our gallery being within the Christchurch CBD cordon and normal courier services being unavailable.  Thank you for your patience during this difficult time - we will start shipping prints and posters as soon as possible. 

Thursday, 24 February 2011

NZ Prints - Christchurch Earthquake Update

All NZ Fine Prints staff and families are ok.  We are unable to ship orders due to our building being within the CBD cordon as well as disruption to normal post and courier services.

We appreciate the emails and calls of support from our artists, suppliers and customers throughout New Zealand and around the world.

Our focus is on our families and friends during this difficult time. Our staff will respond to emails and telephone messages in due course, please be patient at it will be at least several days before we can even begin to offer anything close to our normal levels of customer service. Please email us at enquiries@prints.co.nz or leave a message on 0800 800 278 and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Monday, 7 February 2011

New signage for our Christchurch Gallery by kiwiana artist JK

Christchurch painter Jason Kelly is at the vanguard of the kiwiana art movement that is sweeping galleries and design stores across New Zealand. But we also knew that he had initially trained as a commercial sign writer - so who better to design and create the new signs for our gallery in Christchurch following the earthquake in September 2010 than JK?

We got progress emails from him saying things like "Are you happy for me to freestyle a little with timber choices and a have slightly different shape?" and then a few days later "I found some cool pieces of wood and metal work yesterday…I hope you won't mind".  We began to wonder if Jason was heading off on one of his quirky tangents but he assured us we would appreciate the recycled bed head pieces in the final sign/artwork!

The final design was unveiled this morning at 202 Hereford and we are delighted with our new signage that not only makes it a lot easier to find our store but subtly reminds visitors that although we are NZ's largest online art retailer we have been in the art print business for nearly five decades.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Contemporary Maori artist Douglas Ferris talks about his popular prints

For over a decade prints of Maori artist Douglas Ferris' exquisite pencil sketches have sold steadily to collectors of Maori art throughout NZ and around the world.  Born in Hastings Ferris is from the iwi Ngati Porou.  Douglas is shown here creating one of his portraits in his studio.

Maori artist Douglas Ferris at work in his Hastings studio
We asked Douglas to tell us a bit more about his artistic background and what sparked his interest in Maori portraits in particular.  Ferris told us that he gained his Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts with Honours from Brigham Young University in Hawaii, his wife Charlotte added that "he received the prestigious Top Artist Student Award in 1995 [his last year of study].  Charlotte also told us that Douglas' "informal training began as soon as he was able to hold a pencil and paintbrush.  He has drawn and painted ever since [and] has been doing portraits since primary school".

So why did he focus on portraits of Maori?  Ferris said he had admired "the special spirit that our Maori people innately possess" and that he particularly "enjoyed capturing this human spirit in representational art". Capturing the pride of "our people" in his portraiture is paramount to Douglas. Ferris says he doesn't take it to heart when people criticise him for selling portraits of Maori (see our previous post on the controversy about prints of Maori portraits by Goldie & Lindaur), he gets "thousands of thanks for making it possible for relations to have a picture of their relation".

Ferris' classical art education background sees him looking to masters of representational art such as Carravagio, Rembrandt and Velazquez for inspiration rather than to other contemporary NZ artists and he describes the process of creating his Maori portraits in characteristically straight forward terms "I look, I see, I create".   All of Douglas' prints are held in stock at New Zealand Fine Prints - at just $29.95 each his studies are some of the most popular prints in the Maori art collection with customers often buying several prints at a time to frame as a series.