Niki White is a Taranaki born artist, recently migrated from the North Island to the mountains of Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand. Her whakapapa connects to Ngati Tama, Ngati Mutunga, Ngati Toa, Ngai Tahu, Scotland and England. Niki’s work explores processes common to sculpture and installation, moving image and experimental jewellery.
She has a Bachelor of Design and Visual Arts and is currently studying Te Reo Maori with the intention to complete a Postgraduate in Maori Visual Arts.
Working in the field of contemporary jewellery and sculpture. Niki’s work explores site specific materials, experimental jewellery processes, blacksmithing techniques and traditional Japanese metal practises. Her work explores processes such as the effects of temperature and pressure on various traditional and non-traditional jewellery materials. The results are explorative pieces that look volcanic, as if they have been unearthed, reflecting an interest in materials possessing a Mauri (unique energy).
Niki’s Melt Series explores contemporary art thinking within traditional jewellery casting methods where opportunities were created within the making process for the materials to self-direct their outcome. Various techniques such as adding time to staggered hand pours resulted in unusual artefacts appearing. These pieces reflect an interest and appreciation of process, experimental art and the imperfect beauty of nature.
Her Forged and Hand Rolled Series likewise draw from experimental material play and explore heat and unconventional methods of making. The starting point originated from the melting down of various metals from everyday life, one such metal being the humble ‘Steelo’.
‘The scrubbing Steelo provided a fitting metaphor for juggling the roles of motherhood and artist. The Steelo’s molten metal was poured into an ingot mould and rolled into a flat sheet. The resulting piece, by chance had ends referencing wings and the concept of selflessness. This formed the roots for the first cuff and has since been refined over time’