Overview

Heather Straka (b. 1972) has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from Elam School of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts. Straka has been granted a number of awards and held several residencies, including the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship at the University of Otago. The flawless nature of her early sculptural work was to be a precursor to the immaculate technique and precision that has come to characterise her paintings. Her practice regularly explores the nature of authenticity and issues around representation. Earlier works saw her reimagine nineteenth-century portraits by Sydney Parkinson and Gottfried Lindauer. Straka's project TheAsian saw the mass duplication by Chinese artisans of Straka's interpretation of a portrait based on those Shanghai Girls seen in early 20th century calendar painting. Straka's series Defenders of New Zealand explores early colonial landscape painting, while other figurative works see her turn attention to more contemporary subject matter, reflecting Aotearoa's increasingly multicultural identity.

Works
Biography

EDUCATION

2000
Master of Fine Arts, School of Fine Art, University of Canterbury,
Christchurch

1994
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, Auckland

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017
The Strangers’ Room, Trish Clark Gallery, Auckland

2016
The HONEYTRAP returns, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
X Marks the Spot, Nadene Milne Gallery, Arrowtown

2015
Sombodies Eyes, Trish Clark Gallery, Auckland
The HONEYTRAP, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

2013
Blood Lust, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
Playdate, Nadene Milne Gallery, Arrowtown
Auckland Art Fair, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington

2012
Playdate, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
The Noble Savage, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

2011
The Asian, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland, and Rotorua Museum, Rotorua

2010
Do Not Resuscitate, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
The Attendants & Do Not Resuscitate, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
The Asian, Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga

2009
Do Not Resuscitate, Blue Oyster Gallery, Dunedin
Lost in Translation, Khunstler Haus, Solothurn, Switzerland
The Sleeping Room, Hocken Gallery, Dunedin

2008
Donor, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
(Life) Still, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland

2007
The Banquet, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland

2006
Selling Happyness, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

2005
Paradise Lost, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
Paradise Revisited, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland

2004
First Impressions, Milford Gallery, Dunedin

2003
Joker, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington
The Game, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland
Untitled exhibition, Gallery Via, Prague

2002
Roxburgh Classics, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

2001
No Subject Specified, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland
Wallflower, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
Manufacturing Roxburgh, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington
Not Seen to be Staring, Madame & the Bastard (pseudonym), Janne Land Gallery, Wellington

2000
Public & Private, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
Imported Whiteware, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland

1999
Stain, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland
Not Seen to be Staring, Madame & the Bastard (pseudonym), Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

1998
Courtesy of Docteur L Guyot, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland

1996
Room 101, Teststrip Gallery, Auckland

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2020

Everything Old is New Again: The Turnbull Library at 100, NZ Portrait Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand

2014
Group Exhibition, Nadene Milne Gallery, Arrowtown

2013
Group Show, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington

2011
Small Things, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

2010
Forever After: Conversations with the Past, Hocken Gallery, Hocken Collections, Dunedin

2009
Beloved: Works from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin
Landscapes, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington

2008
Wallace Art Awards, touring exhibition Auckland and Wellington

2007
Paheka Now, The Suter Gallery, Nelson

2006
Group exhibition, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland
Group exhibition, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Auckland

2004
Landscapes, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland

2002
ROSL Touring Scholars exhibition, London and Edinburgh

2001
Recent Acquisitions, Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Christchurch

2000
Group exhibition, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland
Recent Acquisitions, University of Canterbury, Christchurch
Group exhibition, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
Group exhibition, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington

1999
Visa Gold Art Award, touring exhibition Auckland and Wellington
Group exhibition, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland

1997
Laying it on Thick, Artspace, Auckland

1995
150 Ways of Loving, Artspace, Auckland

1993
Adgenda, Artspace, Auckland

 

AWARDS & RESIDENCIES

2009
Artist’s Residency, Altes Spital Solothurn, Switzerland

2008
Frances Hodgkins Fellow, University of Otago, Dunedin

2002
Pierce Lowe Award for excellence in painting, Royal Overseas League, London
Creative New Zealand Project grant

2001
Travel scholarship for a Commonwealth artist to represent New Zealand, Royal Overseas League, London
Ethel Susan Jones Fine Art Travelling Scholarship, School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury
Artist in Residence, Rangi Ruru Girls High, Christchurch

2000
Visiting artist, Nelson Polytechnic
Ethel Rose Overton Scholarship, University of Canterbury

Bibliography

Andrew Paul Wood on Heather Straka's photographs, EyeContact, 29 March 2010

In search of the ‘hyper fake’, Art News New Zealand, article by Heather Straka, Spring 2009

Exhibitions Christchurch – Heather Straka, Belinda Harrow, and Dean Venrooy, Art New Zealand 115, article by Gina Irish, Winter 2005

 

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