Heather Denison paints from her studio in Hawkes Bay overlooking the gentle, rolling hills of the countryside which is conducive to her creative lifestyle.
Growing up in Africa instilled in her a love of wildlife and that passion is significant in her work. Born in Zimbabwe, she spent her early years working as a graphic designer and moved to New Zealand in 2003.
Influenced by the Dutch Golden Age painters, Heather works in oils; applying many layers and glazes to achieve the sense of atmosphere and timelessness. Her detailed work invites closer inspection as there are often many elements that add to the narrative.
Familiar creatures such as hares, tui, kingfish and deer are positioned against a domestic backdrop of objects in her recent paintings. Trinket boxes, ginger jars, an occasional chair and ornate side tables are arranged with flora such as kowhai flowers and peonies. This unexpected tableau of flora and fauna delights the viewer and takes them into another world.
“The connection between the natural world and the human element is what inspires me. Native and introduced species of fauna and flora are a continuing theme in my work. The blend of past and present; man-made items combined with the creatures that inhabit the landscape echo that delicate balance. I strive to capture the emotion, atmosphere and beauty of my subject matter and hope that the work will convey stories which will resonate with the viewer.”
Heather was the recipient of the People's Choice award at the Art-X National Exhibition in 2016, 2018 and 2019 and has paintings held in collections locally and internationally.