Dagmar Dyck - printmaker and painter



Dagmar Dyck (b. 1972, Auckland) is a well known painter and printmaker of Tongan German descent. As a first generation New Zealander she has been brought up to respect and acknowledge her unique ancestry. Dyck's work continues to explore within the realm of Tongan culture koloa, a general term that encompasses Tonga's tangible and intangible heritage of textile and material wealth.

Her work is held in many collections (NZ Parliamentary Collection, MFAT, MPIA and Auckland and Manukau Councils,) corporate places – hotels, (Auckland Hospital, Heritage Hotel and Sky City Hotel) and private homes. Dagmar was the first Tongan female to graduate from Elam School of Fine Arts in 1995 with a Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts. Since then she has exhibited extensively in group shows and held numerous solos both nationally and internationally including Australia, New Caledonia, Samoa, Tonga, the United States, Norway, Germany and China. Known for the clean controlled lines of her early works – perhaps her German ancestry more to the fore then, she has now developed a more abstract Pacific style in her current paintings. However in both 'styles' the influence of ngatu or tapa design/format is evident.

"Threaded throughout my work is a visual process that documents the transformation of raw material to woven treasure. I am exploring layers and marks with a confidence that is intuitively led. The work remains sectionalised as heritage proclaims, but the palette combines the energies and colours of a modern Pacific landscape with the subtlety of customary barkcloth."

Since training as a teacher, in 2012 this mother of 3 clocked up a print residency in Utah, coinciding with attending a group exhibition in New York at the Agora Gallery. Furthermore, at the invitation, she attended the 6th Annual SHContemporay Asia Pacific Arts Fair in Shanghai. At both International exhibitions she was the sole artist of Pacific origin. Currently she is represented in Auckland by Akateretere Arts, Momentum Print Gallery and The Poi Room, and in Wellington by Solander Gallery.

As one of the original members of Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust she is an enthusiastic advocate for contemporary pacific art and for Tautai Trust. Dyck is also one of the founding members of the Tongan Arts Collective, an organisation formed to support, enhance and encourage Tongan arts and artists in and through the wider Auckland community. In September 2012 the weeklong festival 'Matala – A celebration of Tongan culture' was held at Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland. Dagmar held the key role of co-curator for the inaugural Tongan visual artists' exhibition, 'No'o fakataha'.

From this initiative she has spearheaded the formation of the Tongan Visual artist Collective - aptly named No'o fakataha. This group meets regularly and in July 2013 will be travelling back to Tonga to present workshops and artist presentations with local artists and students and staff at 'Atenisi Institute. Dyck has also been invited to be keynote speaker for the Arts Day at this year's Tongan Research Association Conference, to be held at AUT Manukau Campus.

Dyck will finish the year with a trip to Germany to attend the opening of Made in Oceania Tapa – Art and Social Landscapes at the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Cologne. Her curated work will hang alongside her fellow art colleagues Fatu Feu'u, Michel Tuffery, Shigeyuki Kihara and John Pule. She will spend several weeks visiting and researching museums and galleries to further influence her next substantial body of work.

Dagmar Dyck: