Lizzie Collenette is one of the original artists at Māpura Studios, attending for 17 years. Lizzie paints with her head, the paintbrushes connect to a pointer that is connected to a hat that Lizzie wears when she’s painting, and when she communicates, as she uses a speech synthesiser.
“I love go to Māpura Studios because get me out of my house and with friends.” The quote sums up one of the main reasons she comes to Māpura, to be part of a diverse creative community. It’s impossible to imagine what Māpura would be like if Lizzie wasn’t there.
Lizzie started painting flowers because that was all people thought she could paint, but has added portraiture and figures to her repertoire of work. However recently she has been drawn back to painting flowers, using the techniques she’s learnt over the years to really bring the images to life on the canvas. “I love flowers because it is my draw and it make me remember my mother. She came from Niue they have got lot flowers”.
With regard to portraiture Lizzie says, “it is just new to me and I know it is hard for me”. You only have to look at her portraiture to realise how quickly she has mastered this art form.
Lizzie paints at home, having most of her walls covered with her work. Dolphins also make a regular appearance in her art work. She has a particular affinity with these creatures because of the way they communicate without words.
Lizzie continues to promote herself as an artist, by making cards and other artworks that she sells in her local community.