Why the new NZ Flag was a creative failure

This week New Zealanders went to vote for a new flag or keep the existing flag. The public ended up voting for the existing flag but until the result was known, I had been on tenterhooks, hoping that my fellow Kiwis would see sense. Watching the referendum process unfold had been painful over the past 12 months. The open call for designs was romantically democratic but would you choose anyone other than a plumber to fix your sink? The panel who decided the shortlist did not include any designers. Then we, the people, were forced to choose one terrible design from a shortlist of terrible designs. I wrote the post below on the eve of the voting deadline.
Full disclosure: I HATE the proposed alternative design. And these are words from a graphic designer who actually has a Visual Arts degree, which is more than can be said for Mr Lockwood who looks as though he taught himself how to design one rainy weekend with free software.
Even before designs are created, I ask my clients why do they need a design, what are they looking for, what is it they are trying to say to the world? I’m puzzled why we need a new flag right now. We are not a new republic, we still are part of the Commonwealth and presently enjoy those links (under 30s can work in the UK). When the day comes, and it probably will, when the Queen’s head is off our currency, then we can think about taking the Union Jack off our flag.
Even if we get past that there is no logical reason to have new flag now, I cannot get past that the alternative design is just plain ugly. If John Key is sick of being confused with the Australian flag then it’ll be worse to be known as the Australians’ frumpier cousin.
The fern with its clunky leaves isn’t elegant and even a logo is more refined (the All Blacks logo to be exact). Look at the colours – the black bit from the All Blacks flag wasn’t brave enough to march over the space so there’s a bit of the old blue in there…it’s a compromise of not being able to decide who it is. A flag’s purpose is to represent and lead the way, and there’s nothing brave or inspirational about this alternative flag.

This Thursday: see me paint live for charity and see zippy cars at the Fiat Showroom –

I’m one of the artists doing a live paint showcase at the Helfman Fiat showroom. You’ve seen those little Fiats zipping around town, sneaking into tiny parking spots, and there’s a cool ad where they drive through the ocean from Italy. Now you can see these updated Italian design icons up close. There’s beer, wine, lite bites, raffles and if you buy an artwork, a portion of the sales go to charity. $15 in advance/ $25 at the door. Tickets at fiatnetworking.eventbrite.com


New show for May, opening party May 12th, 2-5pm


You’re invited to attend the opening party of the east2collective’s first curated art show. It is at Studios 201 and 228 at Spring St. The show is called 5by5by5 – the art will be no bigger than 5 inches tall, wide and deep. Artists include painters, photographers, designers, printmakers from everywhere – Houston, London, New York…

The show will be viewable until June 9th and at watch this space and the east2collective website for hours…

Upcoming exhibitions: ‘Giving Birth’, ‘5by5by5’, SOS12

Life’s Starting Point (Nine), 48×24″

Annual art event on April 28th, Saturday. Last year was loads of fun so make sure you make it there!
Also planned for mid-May is East2Collective’s exhibition 5by5by5 – watch this space. East2Collective is a collaboration between Holly Hoyt, who does fine art photography, and myself. We have big (and small) things planned for your viewing pleasure…

March brought an interesting topic to explore in an interesting art space. One of my pieces, ‘Nine’, was shown in a group exhibition ‘Giving Birth‘, at Houston’s The Artery. Alongside paintings, the event also featured live performance, music and a film. All part of Herstory month! Go girrrls.

Launch of my artwork at the Lot 8 Salon this Thursday!

Five painting
Five, mixed media, 30x30"

I’m really excited about the launch of my artwork at the Lot 8 Salon on Thursday 18th November. Join me and enjoy the complimentary wine and cheese while viewing the art work! Christine and Souki, the owners of the salon, are so gracious in letting me adorn the salon walls exclusively. So, after a hard day’s work/errands, pop by the salon at 2372 Rice Boulevard (between Morningside + Greenbriar, same side as British Isles) at 6-8pm.

You can view a sneak preview of my new work here on this site.