New horizons exhibition at the Mandarin Tree

Sylvia Sinel

A new exhibition launches at The Mandarin Tree this week. New Horizons features the work of mixed media artist Sylvia Sinel.  Everything and anything can inspire her to new ideas, she tells N8N’s Annette Taylor.

How long have you been working on the exhibition?

We moved to the countryside to Ngahinapouri in June and it has inspired me a whole lot. All the pieces in this show have been inspired in one way or another from this new start in life and by the beautiful nature surrounding us there.

What is your background?
I’m from Sweden and met a fantastic Kiwi back in Europe 25 years ago. We have been living in Sweden most of the time but are now settled here. I miss my family and friends back in Sweden of course but I feel very much home here in New Zealand. I have had two careers side by side, one as an artist and one in Business and Finance and Accounts. I used to work as a Finance Manager for many years and I loved it. I think it is a big advantage to have accounts and business knowledge as an Artist. If you want to make a living of your art you need to know your numbers and I think it’s fun. No profit no business. I have a few ideas for future projects where I can combine these to fields.

How (and when) did you start?
I have always been very curious and creative and have very vivid imagination. I would say most artist are born with the urge to create and it is hard to pinpoint an exact time when it all started.

What has been the feedback/reaction to your work?
There has been a lot of different reactions depending on the project. I have had a lot of positive reactions here in New Zealand to my ceramic Art and I have won a few awards. I’m just in the beginning of my ceramic adventure and feel very excited about all the possibilities ahead of me. Ceramics is a combination of all art forms to me it’s the ultimate. It’s sculpture, painting, chemistry, physics and poetry all in one. It’s very hard to get all the parts to work together and that’s the big fascination and challenge I think.

What challenges have you had to face?
Moving to another country and leaving all known behind is a challenge and a liberation at the same time. You loose your identity somehow but there is the freedom in starting over too. I was very fortunate to be able and focus full time on my Art since we moved here and I think that has played a big part in me settling down so well.

Where do you get inspiration? For work, for life…
Ii find inspiration everywhere. Visual impressions from the New Zealand landscape, which is so much more vibrant and colourful than in Sweden. Everything and anything can inspire me to new ideas and the making in itself feeds the creativity too. I have more ideas than I will ever be able to realise.

What is your advice for someone starting out?
To keep on following the dreams and to hold onto the passion. To find like minded people to inspire and challenge you and most important of all to try different things and explore new roads. I was told early on that I need to find my style but II think that can be a big hindrance, keep on trying new things and experiment. If you get stuck in one style to early on it might kill the curiosity and create fear of new ways. Being an artist is not really a job or something you choose to do. I believe it’s in your DNA or a calling if you like, you’re either it or not. If you are, you will find outlets for whatever you need to create and communicate and whatever it is it will most likely change and evolve over time.

New Horizons, by Sylvia Sinel, opens at the Hive on Saturday 9 December. The Mandarin Tree is in Gordonton Village, 1035 Gordonton Rd, phone 027 777 8733.

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