Selected Kiwi artists and designers have joined with PPG Paints to create their own bespoke collections. Tracey Tawhiao (Ngāi Te Rangi, Whakatōhea, Ngāti Tūwharetoa), whose work spans painting, poetry, moving image and sculpture, is one of them, and shared with us the stories her palette tells.
“I live in Auckland and work from home [scenes from which are pictured here]. For me, home’s a place where you feel welcomed and loved. It’s where I set out to be myself in my work, undaunted by my flaws.
I was born an artist and believe I was awakened by a beautiful telepathic meeting with a fish on the beach. Now, the fish is a central motif in my work, which flows out of me like water coming out of a spring. It’s a spring where I am the water and the water is me.
Nature is the colour wheel of life. There isn’t a set number of hues and new ones are being seen daily by the eye. The colours we use in our homes or work are those we know will create a better environment for us to be in. The shades we see in nature filter into us, then come out in the spaces we need to bring to life.
We can use colour to make man-made objects, like walls, feel more enlivened. I imagine the colours I created for PPG Paints being used like a drink when you’re thirsty — you drink and then you stop when you’ve had enough, knowing there’s a massive supply. Colour’s like that. You go to hues that quench your thirst knowing more are there, so it’s a kind of healthy, wealthy, confident overconsumption.
That’s how to use any colour in an interior environment — with confident overconsumption! I think all colours affect all others, so it’s just a matter of how you’re feeling when you choose your combinations. Listen to your own needs and feelings.
Colour’s like breathing — you don’t focus on it, but without it, you’d die. Colour’s everywhere and we don’t recognise its importance because it’s so abundant, but the second it disappeared, we’d suffer greatly.
Colour’s a friend who always wants to play. It has no prejudice. It’ll hold hands with its opposite so easily. My paintings reflect this colour diversity — a gender-free, multiple-partnered ‘genius’ of life.
“Māori goddesses inspire my paintings and my palette for PPG Paints. They exemplify the beauty of Māori philosophy and are part of the natural world, from which all colour is derived. I choose these women of a higher dimension to highlight my significant appreciation of nature. I gain so much inspiration from nature, while the Māori language gives me clues to the deep relationship we have with it.
My PPG palette of 11 paints was inspired by a sunset over the ocean off West Auckland’s Piha Beach [pictured top]. I was amazed by how many different colours and tones exist in this spectrum, and how different they are once they’re drawn out of the sunset by the coloursmith.
The orange and brown earth tones feel like a rich feast around an outdoor fire under a big pōhutukawa tree. These tones are part of our skin, made from the clay of the Earth. I feel enriched by these hues, as if they’re a herald for the Earth’s beauty and ours.
The greens I like feel like a night sleeping under a ponga tree in my garden, the deep green hues against the starry, dark-navy sky. Lying on the ground looking up these greens feels safe, like a wing of a precious being protecting me. The lighter, mossy greens are a child of the forest playing in the sun.
Our eyes are regarded as the window to the soul, and inside the soul our light turns everything into colour. Study the names of these goddesses and you too will find the many layers to nature’s purpose for your soul.”
MAKE-IT-WORK MOOD BOARD
ABOVE, BACKDROP Southern Alps linen fabric, $64/m, marthas.co.nz. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Inax Yohen Border YB15B tiles, from $350/m2, materialspace.co.nz. Carmen joinery pull, from $285, thearcdept.com. Herringbone desk tidy by Phil Cuttance, $105, everyday-needs.com. Mokum Vintage Deux velvet fabric, $195/m, jamesdunloptextiles.com. Citrus juicer by Gidon Bing, $61, madegood.co.nz. Octavius wool fabric, $171/m, warwick.co.nz. Nero Dorato marble, POA, cdkstone.co.nz. Arc vase, $95, deborahsweeney.com. Isabella chair by Simon James, from $3420, resident.co.nz.
To animate your interior with Tracey’s collection, we suggest selecting three to five of her 11 jewel tones (shown above in the mood board and swatches) to create a symphony of shades that bring the outside in. For example, you could ground your space with the deepest hue, Papatūānuku, then drench your walls with dawn-inspired Hinetītama before layering in textiles, furniture and objects in tactile materials of similar saturation, for a colour-blocked effect that’s rich in feeling.
PPG Paints Makers colours are created by New Zealand artists and designers, and exclusive to Bunnings; ppgpaintsmakers.nz