|Brad Novak with his print Tiki with Danaus Plexippus Wings 1.1|
Brad's first art print, this image of a Tiki with Monarch Butterfly wings was completed at Artrite Studios in 2008 (see picture of Brad celebrating the completion of the print at right). The artist says "screenprinting is a great process - took me a while to get my head around it but Tony Ogle and Michael Smither were kind enough to have me learn from them for a few days and that helped a lot!" At the time of the prints release Brad told us that "This image [Tiki with Danaus Plexippus Wings 1.1] has been one I have envisioned in my mind’s eye for a while and I am very pleased with the final results. Inspiration came from my own education as an adult about the history of Aotearoa/New Zealand before and after European settlement. I chose to name the Monarch Butterfly, introduced to NZ in the late 19th century, by its scientific name (Danaus Plexippus). This is a nod to my own background (and ongoing work in medicine/science) and a tribute to the often overlooked or misrepresented facts regarding Maori history (and indeed the history of all NZ). This butterfly and Tiki motif represents the growth in my own personal knowledge about Maori culture (and the opening of my own eyes to the many truths that history portrays) and the determination of Maori to continue sustaining and cultivating their culture and language in Aotearoa/NZ in the face of colonisation. And finally – I really thought it would make a cool image!”
In May Novak completed his latest print "Reservoir Dogs of NZ" - an idea that came to him while on holiday in the UK. Brad says he is really happy with the final artwork for Reservoir Dogs of NZ - he "tried lots of different birds before settling on the combination I did" - deciding on the Tui, Kiwi, Whio, Huia, Shag and Albatross in a print that also references the Waiting for Buller series of paintings by Christchurch painter Bill Hammond.