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1946 Born in United Kingdom

Educated England and Australia

New Zealand Citizen (by descent)



NZQA Bursary Practical Art – Painting.  Rosehill College, Papakura


ArtStation, Auckland.   Life drawing classes with Matthew Browne

2004 – 07

Elam School of Fine Arts, National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, The University of Auckland.  BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts)


School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury.  BFA Honours (Painting)


Sumi Ink Workshop with Max Gimblett, Christchurch Art Gallery, 13 February 2011


Though born in England, I am a New Zealand citizen by descent, and permanently living in New Zealand from 1986 after many years moving between the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Since 2007 I have been researching the availability and the historical and current uses of earth, mineral and plant pigments in New Zealand, mainly those of Canterbury, Banks Peninsula, Hurunui, and Otago, with the cataloguing and recording of colours being the methodology.

My paintings show colour found at a location. With these pigments I usually make watercolour paint with gum arabic and honey as the main binder ingredients. I also use colours obtained from plants – roots, leaves and flowers – from gardens in Oxford or further afield.  I have been experimenting with sustainable colour via solar dyeing and the steam printing of plant colour on to paper and fabric.

I find the watercolour medium brings out the characteristics of the rock pigment particles – some are opaque, some are transparent – and, as the pigment is unrefined, there are often hidden colours which can be revealed as the particles diffuse and settle into place.

In hand-ground paint the larger and irregular particles, plus the additional minerals or chemical substances embedded at molecular level have the effect of reflecting a wider part of the spectrum. It has been shown that this creates a more intense colour than a synthetic colour which reflects a narrower part of the spectrum.  The use of natural plant dyes is an eco-friendly practice, the dyes are safe for body contact, while the colours are unsophisticated and harmonised with nature. The uniqueness of each batch of colour is also a characteristic I value.

Printmaking has entered my life since I was fortunate enough to obtain a lovely etching press in 2014.  I am gaining experience in this medium through intaglio and relief printing – collagraphs and nature prints.  I find the printing process exacting but exciting and full of serendipity.

My interest in nature stems from a curiosity of how land is formed, and how humanity has changed both the land and its biota. A practical involvement with the land in Paparimu, near Hunua in the North Island, (since 1989) has included the design, establishment and running of a certified organic orchard for ten years until 2007. I am now living in Oxford, North Canterbury.

I volunteer at the Arts in Oxford Gallery, in the role of Exhibitions Co-ordinator since April 2017, as well as being on the Curation team and the exhibitions set-up team.  The Oxford Arts Trust is a registered, not-for-profit charity.  The purposes for which the gallery has been set up include providing a centre for the creation, development and promotion of the visual arts, performances and activities for the Oxford community and general public.  The gallery is 100% run by volunteers.



Artist assistance.  Meg Cranston (Artist-in-Residence at Elam School of Fine Arts) Exhibition at Artspace, Auckland.

Constellation”, one of a set of 19 artworks – 4th Year Elam Collaborations – Aperitif  (Part 2: 15-18 August). George Fraser Gallery, Auckland.

BFA Graduate Show.  Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, November.

Artist assistance.  Peter Robinson, Auckland.


Outside the Square. Platform Arts Festival.  University of Canterbury College of Arts, 21 May – 1 June.

Postgraduate Conference, 10 October, 2008, School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury.  Presented Out of the Ground, a talk on my use of Canterbury pigments and their place in my artworks.


Oxford Art on the Move.  Group show.  Town Hall, Oxford.

Waimakariri Arts Trail Exhibition, Cone Street Gallery, Rangiora.


Gallery’s Opening Exhibition, 31 January, 2010, Arts in Oxford Centre, Oxford

Colours from the Earth.  Solo exhibition.  The Chamber Gallery, Rangiora, (Waimakariri Community Arts Council exhibition programme 2010), 2 May to 2 June.

Forms of Attention.  Group exhibition with Helga Goran, Kim Lowe and Cristina Silaghi.  The Arts in Oxford Gallery, Oxford. 24 October to 21 November 2010.


Colours of Distance.  Group exhibition with Helga Goran, Kim Lowe, Christina Silaghi.  Papakura Art Gallery, Auckland, 3 March to 7 April 2012.

Making Colour Workshop. Papakura Art Gallery, Auckland, 6 March, 2012.

Sense of Place.  Group exhibition with Helga Goran, Kim Lowe, Christina Silaghi.  Hastings City Art Gallery, Hastings, 28 July to 9 September 2012.

LAND/ SCAPE.  Exhibition curated by Tracey Williams.  Papakura Art Gallery, Auckland, 25 August to 6 October, 2012.

Te Wai Pounamu: 21 New Zealand artists respond to and reflect on the South Island.  Curated exhibition.   Arts in Oxford Gallery, Oxford, 2 September to 4 November 2012.

Watercolour paint making demonstration using local pigments in conjunction with Te Wai Pounamu exhibition.  Arts in Oxford Gallery, Oxford,  14 October.


Aotearoa.  Group show with Canterbury artists – Areta Wilkinson, Morehu Flutey-Henare, Paula Rigby, Tania Nutira and Ruth Stanton McLeod. Arts in Oxford Gallery, June/July.

Between the Lines.  A group exhibition at the Selwyn Gallery, Darfield.  August.

Colours from a Landscape.  Exhibition and a paint making workshop.  Dunedin Botanic Garden, 5 August to 30 September.

Paper, Pigment, Wax.  A group exhibition with Casey Macaulay, Jane Thorne, and Jo Campbell at the Arts in Oxford Gallery, Oxford,  28 September to 3 November.


Kidsfest (holiday programmes for school children), 5 – 23 July.  Paint Making Workshop on 15 July at the Arts in Oxford Gallery, Oxford.


Kidsfest, Artists Book Cover and Bookmaking Workshop with Tessa Warburton on 15 and 16 July, Arts in Oxford Gallery, Oxford.

Hot Off the Press, group printmaking exhibition with Gaby Reade, Heather Maxwell, Ruth Stanton McLeod, and Sue Alexander, July-August, Arts in Oxford Gallery, Oxford.

View and Do, a group show 19 September – 14 October, with a paintmaking workshop, 1 November, 2015, Arts in Oxford Gallery, Oxford.


Design and pre press for the 2017 Arts in Oxford calendar.

Accumulative, group exhibition with Kris Waldin, Rachel McRobb, Ruth Killoran,

Ruth McLeod, 17 September to 10 October: accompanying paint making demonstration.


13th Annual West Melton Art Event 2017, January. Nut Point Centre, West Melton

#TheFlockNZ workshops in aid of   Held in May, June and July

From the Rivers to the Shore, group printmaking exhibition, 10 June – 19 July.  Exhibition also appeared at The Depot Artspace, Devonport and at No1 Parnell, Rawene.

Sanctuary, a group show in aid of Artists Against Slavery, 28 October – 29 November.


LOCALity, a group show at Arts in Oxford, curated by Areta Wilkinson, and exploring location, materiality and positioning, with  Canterbury artists:  Mark Adams, Mike Boot, Tony Bond, Cheryl Lucas, Elfi Spiewack and Tessa Warburton.  9 June – 10 July.



Celia Wilson, Paintings 2007.  Documentation of wall paintings, 4th year work for BFA degree.

“Studio Work”, Oculus, Postgraduate Journal for Visual Arts Research, University of Canterbury Department of Art History and Theory, 1, (2009): 56-57.

Forms of Attention.  Catalogue to accompany exhibition at Arts in Oxford Gallery, 2010.

Colour of Distance.  Catalogue to accompany exhibition at Papakura Art Gallery, 2012

Experiencing Distance: Creative Explorations.  Contribution to educational supplement to exhibition at Papakura Art Gallery, 2012.

Sense of Place:  Distances, Passages, Conjunctions.  Catalogue to accompany exhibition at Hastings City Art Gallery, 2012.

“Fragile Paths, Proximities and Distances” in Dwelling and Sharing:  Places in Experience.  Educational supplement to Sense of Place exhibition, Hastings City Art Gallery, 2012.

“From the I-Land”, Tessa Laird,  in From the I-Land, edited by Tracey Williams, on the occasion of the exhibition LAND/SCAPE, Papakura Art Gallery, 25 August to 6 October 2012, p 12.


The James Wallace Arts Trust

Private collections in New Zealand, China and the United Kingdom

One Comment leave one →
  1. 3 April, 2015 8:48 pm

    Dear Celia,
    Here I am at Piha for Easter, diving into the beauty you have shared with nature!
    Please have a look at Earthskin for the Environmental Residency opportunity which I would love you to apply for.
    I also was born in 1946.
    Such lucky people to be so part of this amazing natural world!

    Love and blessings

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