Areta Wilkinson was born in Kaitaia in the far north of New Zealand, living and working in Auckland for most of her professional life. She has recently moved to Oxford, Canterbury and is currently a PhD Candidate in Fine Arts (Maori Studies) at Massey University, NZ.Read More
Areta Wilkinson is a leading Maori jeweller. Through her work she explores ideas about adornment, wealth, and the preciousness of materials. She also examines local and global issues, including identity (particularly her Ngai Tahu identity), dislocation, memory, protection, and spirituality.
Although much of Wilkinson’s work relates to her Maori/Ngai Tahu identity, it generally does not draw on the forms of customary Maori jewellery such as heitiki
Wilkinson completed a four year Diploma in Craft Design (Jewellery) in 1991 at Carrington Polytechnic (now Unitec), Auckland, followed by a Bachelor of Design degree in 2002. She has been employed at Unitec School of Design since 1995 as jewellery lecturer for the Bachelor of Design course. A founding member of the shared jewellery studio Workshop 6 1993-2006, she has exhibited regularly throughout New Zealand and contributed to two of three Jewellery Biennial curated by the Dowse Art Museum. Wilkinson has participated in exhibitions in Australia, Belgium and Scotland, her work is held in permanent collections of Te Papa Tongarewa and the Dowse Art Museum in New Zealand, and at Cambridge University and the Pitt Rivers Museum in Britain. Wilkinson has an extensive exhibition record, has been the recipient of Creative New Zealand support and was one of 9 New Zealand artists participating in Turbulance the 3rd Auckland Triennial in 2007.