LAITA, Lily Aitui

Nationality: New Zealand
Website: Website
Lily Aitu Laita was born in Takapuna, Auckland, in 1969, and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, in 1990. Following periods of teaching at Western Springs College, Auckland (1992-6) and the Wanganui Regional Community Polytechnic (1997-9), she returned to Elam where she is currently studying for the MFA in painting.

Lily Laita’s early paintings were distinguished both by her distinctive style and choice of media, using a combination of acrylic, oil stick and shellac on black builder’s paper. Energetic assemblages of Pacific imagery typically emerged out of dark backgrounds, while there was also the sense of shifting time frames, with subjects materialising from the past. Her most recent paintings have used more conventional oil paints on canvas. Although less gestural, they retain a sense of the mysterious. They are overlaid with words, and incorporate larger areas of pure colour and more clearly defined images, including Pacific motifs and frangipani flowers. Their concern with mythology, identity and place reflects the artist’s own Pacific, Maori and English backgrounds. These are themes that have also been regularly explored in the medium of the monoprint, produced at Muka Studios.

“Just add Water”