Tui Slater Conceptual Artist



Working as a conceptual artist, in both two and three-dimensional disciplines, my materials and ideas are just as important as the final aesthetics in my work. I have a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Visual) and a Diploma in Jewellery Design and Construction. I like to examine issues and raise questions of our society; by using and combining mediums in different contexts, I aim to shake off any preconceived ideas and perceptions of the people normally associated with those materials and then create a fusion of my own ideas and view points.

"To generalise is the norm... Is it a reflection of how we don't see ourselves?" (Tui Slater, 2006)

At present I am particularly interested in researching New Zealand landscape artists, our "landscape" and associated cultures. Motifs as the tin bach, patchwork fields, and stunning geological features are an important part of my work along with New Zealand icons. I work with metals that have been familiar in homes since the beginning of last century such as tin, galvanised metal, copper and the favourite in the kitchen - aluminium. I also use items metaphorically to complete my works.

Originally from West Auckland, where I still have family, I feel I can relate to both the city and country lifestyles but try to understand how they can work together.

My husband Mark and I live for part of the year on twelve acres in the back blocks of Kaeo, New Zealand, with two small mutty dogs and a few chickens. We built our house together by hand, with recycled and energy efficient materials. Our water is carried each day from a spring, power comes from solar generation and we have a composting toilet; all part of our aim to live a simple life.

The rest of year we live on our forty foot live aboard mini ship, a Roberts Spray, called Windrunner II , at Opua, in the Bay of Islands and have such luxuries as a worm farm and vege garden on board. We also have a small yawl moored at Totara North, and enjoy sailing on the beautiful Whangaroa Harbour. My studio outlook can be of bush, rocks, wild flowers and we have views out to Puketi forest if I am Kaeo. If I am at Opua, I have a small workshop, with metal and woodwork equipment on board and a studio in the forward cabin. I watch people coming and going on their boats in my breaks. Living and working on a boat surrounded by a mini United Nations I find very inspiring.

Artists Bio

Born 1968, West Auckland.


"Braveheart Art Exhibition, ASB Showgrounds, Auckland, 28th - 30th May 2010

"An Unsettled History" Russell Museum, Bay of Islands. 10th April - July 2010

"Royally Yours" Letham Gallery, Auckland. 19th March - 9th April 2010

"Cash and Carry" Satellite Gallery, Auckland Dec 2009

"'Divas" Satellite Gallery, Auckland July 2009

'Mates' Rate Black Singlets' (solo) Letham Gallery, Auckland March 2009

"Our Black Singlets" (solo) Satellite Gallery - Glass Box Cabinets, Auckland Sept 2008

"Matariki" Kaan Zamann, Kerikeri. June 2008

"Artists on Broadway" Coutts Cars, Newmarket, Auckland. May 2008.

"Unleashed" (Group show) Community Arts Centre, Whangarei. 5th - 10th November 2007.

"Out of Order" (Solo show), Community Arts Centre, Whangarei. 26th July to 29th August 2007.

"One Shot for Ollie and Delphi" (Solo show), Kerikeri Domain, Kerikeri. 29th & 30th April 2007.

"Clear Messages" (Group exhibition), Whare Toi Tangata Gallery in Moerewa. 20th June to 5th July 2006.

"The Girls" (one of five local women), Williams House, Paihia Library, Paihia, 1st to 14th October 2005.

"Tui Slater Jewellery", (Solo show), Seaview Gallery, Piha. March 1998.

"This That and Tuher" (with Stuart Slater), Lopdell House, Titirangi, April 1993


Bachelor of Applied Arts - Visual, Northland Polytechnic Tai Tokerau Wananga, 2007

Jewellery Design and Making Certificate, Manukau Polytechnic, 1991 (Top student)

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Tui - Ollie and Delphi

Tui at work

Tui at work table