Erika works from her home studio in Maungaturoto, a small country town in the Kaipara District, New Zealand. She is self-taught, holds a Bachelor of Music as well as a Post-graduate Diploma in Art and Creativity. Her work explores the primitive and whimsical with an often quirky narrative. It touches on the representational with a biographical element seated in childhood experiences, fables and fantasies. Dreams, as well as daydreams often inform the development of the work. Idiosyncrasies and a surreal edge may accompany a dreamlike realism, with a quirky reference to modern culture and language
Her work is held in private collections in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and Sweden
2013 Parkin Drawing Award
2012 Clifton Art Award
2010 Estuary Art Award
Represented by a selected number of commercial galleries in New Zealand
The contemporary, stylised works of Erika Hüsselmann comment on life in all its facets; they are quirky, sometimes autobiographical and form an ongoing visual diary. Painting “from the inner sanctum, in the moment”, her practise is intuitive; she draws inspiration from dreams, everyday life, family, hopes and history. The results are whimsical, often dreamlike works that draw you in, tempting you to interpret their story, yet retaining a sense of mystery. – Arts in Oxford
This year’s body of work is leading me in a different direction from earlier years in that mark-making and repetition of a number of steps and a selection of specific colours dictate the process. I find great pleasure in the layering of the paint, and find that starting from the very beginning – the stretcher bars – forces me to slow down and breathe in every single detail. So that in the end I might be able to say that I made this work literally from the ground up. I work on the floor for the stretching, then move to the table for the first layers and then to the easel for drawing and painting. I do not use reference material other than memory and feel that order and chaos as virtual elements are part of the process, as are hope and despair, trust and doubt.
With this new body of work, I wish to explore new avenues of making, finding my own voice through the process of stretching, stapling, spreading colour, drawing, painting, finishing, stringing and eventually a wall somewhere.
Deo Volente Semper