News | 2 April 2024
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Wild Wellington at heart of artist’s cover-art inspiration

Meet Carrie Carey, the Pōneke artist behind the lovely screen print of Zealandia which adorns the cover of the latest Our Wellington – Tō Tātou Pōneke.

Wellington artist Carrie Carey, standing in a wooden doorframe, holding her A3 screen-print of a vibrant yellow pathway surrounded by autumn coloured bush.

The mother-of-three and former Island Bay School art teacher says her art usually revolves around “anything botanical” – a passion that was passed down to her by her father.

“My dad used to teach me about everything flora and fauna. Dad loved his garden. He would tell you the names of everything when walking through the Botanic Garden and now I do the same with my kids!”

Carrie, a Kilbirnie resident and reliever teacher, says Zealandia is a special place where she would spend a lot of time when her children were younger.

“I always take photos when I go on bush walks. The image I’ve used in my screen print was taken off the beaten track in Zealandia, beyond the main path.

“There’s amazing bush at Zealandia. My old home in Island Bay, we had kākā landing on the deck. That’s the difference Zealandia has made to Wellington, and all the natives that have been planted around the city have made a difference too.”

Carrie can take some credit for the increase in native plantings.

She spent 21 years living in Island Bay, on a large section which backed onto the Town Belt. She and her husband took part in the Council’s planting programme, in which the Council provides free native plants for volunteers and community groups to plant on public land to improve Wellington's environment.

She believes the Town Belt is Wellington’s best kept secret, and says she still feels like she is part of the Island Bay community, being one of the organisers for the Island Bay Festival.

Now the family lives in Kilbirnie, where they moved late last year, and Carrie’s husband is a big fan of the new bike routes, commuting to his city job by taking the paths alongside Cobham Drive and beyond around the bays.

Wellington artist Carrie Carey, standing in the wooden doorframe of a tiny stand-alone room situated under a tall tree, holding her A3 screen-print of a vibrant yellow pathway surrounded by autumn coloured bush.
Carrie, with her art, in her tiny inherited stand-alone art studio.

The walls in Carrie’s old villa are covered in artworks – a collection of pieces by mostly local artists – and she inherited her stand-alone art room when they bought the deceased estate.

She says “connecting people and place” is at the heart of her art practice.

Brought up in Birmingham, England, Carrie studied illustration at the University of Westminster and then got a teaching degree, before traveling abroad and meeting her husband, who was a Kiwi.

They moved to Wellington and Carrie worked for eight years as an extramural and print-making tutor at the Learning Connexion art school, which was formerly located in Island Bay’s Erskine College.

She says screen printing is usually about multiples, “but I’m all about painting things that are unique”. Therefore, most of her artworks are one-offs.

She creates monotypes with a silk screen and combines this with a screen print of her drawings. Painting and other forms of printmaking such as woodcut, collograph and etching have been used in creating her work too.

See Carrie’s art at the Paekākāriki Art Show between 25-28 April over Anzac weekend.

The cover of the autumn 2024 Our Wellington magazine, featuring a painting of a yellow pathway amongst green bush with hints of purple and red in the trees.
The cover art of the latest issue of Our Wellington - Tō Tātou Pōneke features a screen-print, by local artist Carrie Carey, of a vibrant scene from our beloved ecosanctuary, Zealandia.

Pick up a copy of Our Wellington – Tō Tātou Pōneke from the following Wellington City Council sites: Te Awe Library, Arapaki Service Centre, Waitohi Community Hub, Tawa Library, Newtown Library, Ākau Tangi Sports Centre, Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre, and the Wellington I-SITE on Wakefield Street.

Check out the online PDF and text-only version (which may be compatible with some screen readers) on the Our Wellington webpage.