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Ko Tongariro te maunga
Ko Taupō-nui-a-Tia te moana
Ko Ngāti Tūwharetoa te iwi

Ko Ngāti Kurauia te hapū
Ko Te Heuheu te tangata


I first started painting and drawing seriously when I was seventeen. I had a great teacher that taught me the value of art history. We studied the work of German expressionists Max Beckmann and Otto Dix. The politics of the Weimar Republic of the 20’s and 30’s with the rise of Fascism continues to be an area of interest for me. One of my first life drawing teachers at Art school was Allie Eagle who emphasised sound knowledge of the human figure as well as fostering in me a fascination for political activism.


On finishing art school I travelled to Europe to study the Old Masters. Upon returning to NZ I was lucky to have exhibitions but I wanted to improve my drawing. I was in an art store and found Anthony Ryder’s Complete Guide to Figure Drawing which proved pivotal in my artistic direction.


In 2005 I won a contemporary Pacific Scholarship to fund study in the basics of sight size in Florence Italy. From there I travelled to France to study at Studio Escalier and portraiture with Ted Seth Jacobs at BACAA in the U.S.A in 2009.


Today I continue to question and critique my methodology in painting. I'm grateful for all the help I've received from friends, family, life models, students and buyers of my art, that have happily given their time to be part of my development. 



I would like to finish with a chant from my Ngāti Tuwharetoa ancestor the prophet Ngatoroirangi on mutual aid:


Ka u ki matanuku

Ka u ki matarangi

ka u ki tenei whenua

Hei whenua te mau e kai te manawa o tauhou



I arrive in lands strange to me

I arrive with strange skies above

to the people of the land, I offer my heart as food for thee




Zarahn Southon

Waitakere, Aotearoa 



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