i DO like – Sistas doin it for themselves!
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend the launch of Millie Elder-Holmes jewellery launch (shouts to Natasha Tekoronga from Flawless 7 for the invite).
I popped in to have a look at the jewellery (mostly out of curiosity to be honest) and then later that same day I stopped in on the way home for Olivia Laitas first art exhibition/showroom.
I came away at the end of the day feeling really inspired I think mostly due to the fact that they were both young women who were out there doing it for themselves in fields that they could express themselves creatively. It was also great to see & chat with people like Tash who runs Flawless 7 her own talent/management/media agency and Janine (aka Lady Diva) who is an amazing graffiti artist – she helped me interview Liv in the video we did with Olivia (check it out after the jump)
At the jewellery launch I spoke to Michael John – the jeweller Millie collaborated with for her jewellery range – to find out a bit more about how they came to be working together and how long they’d been working on the jewellery.
Michael John: OK well I guess we started about 9 months ago – we’d met through mutual friends. She’d told them she’d wanted to find a jeweller so they put us in contact, we got on like a house on fire and you know ….. this is it! Millie had a huge amount of ideas so we had to start by culling them down. She wanted to start with Greek heritage that she loves so much and mix it up with modern day patterns and styles like that. From that concept we just grew and evolved to everything you see here. Even this is only a third of what we’ve designed because we’ve had to pick out what we wanted to show for this but we’re hoping to come out with new stuff soon. It will only be distributed through Millie, she has a pop-up store here for the next 5 days and then after that you can buy online on her website
Check out some of the jewellery Millie had on display at the launch below. I personally really liked the jewellery and especially the ‘Flower of Life’ range. The ring in particular is very similar to a gold filigree ring I wear all the time. I heard one person describe the jewellery as ‘delicate and feminine’. For more pics of the event click here.
I’ve known Olivia or Livi/Liv as most people call her for at least 10 years or more. I was actually introduced to both her and her partner Elliott (world renowned graffiti artist Askew One) through a mutual friend and then found out that we’re actually cousins! Yay! So I get to claim her as my actual, factual cuz lol!
I’ve really admired her drive and the way she puts everything into what she does – she has a PHD in Organic Chemistry even! Salute Dr Olivia! I was talking with my hairdresser Mark Henare (who is also part of the TMD crew) a while ago about the serigraphy she had set out to learn and produce and he was saying that whatever Liv sets her mind to do, she fully puts her mind to learning everything about it and then just does it and is really good at it, whether it be B-Girling, graffiti art, Organic chemistry or serigraphy – and that description I’d fully agree with.
Olivia (middle) with her Mum (left) and sister (right)
Janine (Lady Diva) as mentioned before helped me with this little interview that we did with Liv about her show and what it was all about. Unfortunately the sound is a bit crappy because we didn’t have a mic but I’ve transcribed the interview for you under the video in case you give up trying to hear what she’s saying lol!
Janine: Would you like to share a little bit about ‘Olivia Laita Gallery’ and how that came about?
Olivia: Ummm yup! So Olivia Laita Gallery is actually an online print gallery and tonight it’s just a show room launch so that people who want to buy and see it in the physical form – they can.
Janine: Ok thats awesome! So with the artists that are involved – how did they come together – like the artists showing tonight?
Olivia: I’d already observed all 7 of them at least 2 years, maximum 14 and now they’re transitioning into contemporary art with those who have already been doing it for probably a decade so it’s just showcasing both – the established and the emerging. You can’t really find this anywhere else …. in this country.
Janine: And is that part of the inspiration of incorporating Tim Weber design – that whole new movement – or how did the whole Tim Weber collaboration come together?
Olivia: It’s actually kind of simple. Tim Weber is another business thats based out of the same place so just to keep overheads low and combine art & design at the same time we decided to share the showroom.
Janine: So what is the inspiration of the show itself like what do you want people to see & experience?
Olivia: So this show is basically all about letting everyone here in New Zealand know that there is a group of very special artists who do what I consider to be Post Graffiti Pacific Art and basically defining it because we defined and we pretty much figured out the term ourselves. So thats what we’re pushing – Post Graffiti Pacific Art (laughs)
Janine: Can you expand quickly a little bit on what Post Graffiti Pacific Art is?
Olivia: Post Graffiti is a term thats used for artists that recognise themselves as the traditional letter style graffiti writers and then by putting “Post” in front of it, it basically means that their foundation is that but they’re going a bit more abstract and a bit more beyond but always that is their foundation and they’ll always make that known.
Janine: And so lastly …. From here – where to in terms of the way you want to show the works or the way that you want to help these artists progress with their career, your role in that and how do you see that happening?
Olivia: Yup so basically this launch is to let people know that we’re on the horizon but in 2015 we’ll probably have a straight to the point ‘Post Graffiti Pacific Art’ show – pretty much self-titled.
Janine: Yay! Get ready for it!
Here’s a few of my favourite pieces from the Olivia Laita Gallery/Tim Weber showroom launch.