The Collaborators

Colette O’Kane and Frankie Bakker are both practicing Aotearoa/NZ artists. They met at the 2021 ChCh art show, exhibiting next to each other - a delightful twist of fate that brought them together to collaborate with An ArtFul Affair

Both artists are focused on establishing sustainable careers with their practices, entering competitions, networking and exhibiting in different galleries, and/or taking part in art projects both in Aotearoa/NZ and overseas.

Frankie Bakker BFA

Elam graduate, Frankie Bakker’s most recent artistic involvement (2021) includes, but is not limited to: taking part as an artist for the Pop-Up Penguin Project, creating ‘GateWay To The Peninsula.’ Bakker raised $17,500 for Cholmondeley (Ao/NZ child charity) at the auction with her Penguin. The overall Auction raised $1,000,000.

Bakker has had work exhibited in the New Brighton Library, 2021, featured in Events pages in ChCh, as well as having successfully taken part in the Christchurch Art Show, and Black Horse Media Show

Bakker has completed a two-sided mural as a community project in Little River. The project involved the children from the Little River School, sparking their creativity and bringing their creative ideas to life, this project's initial funding is from the Creative NZ Community round 2020

And was given the opportunity to paint a chorus box in Central Christchurch City on Colombo street with the support of the Christchurch City Council anti-graffiti team, completed in December 2021

She was a finalist in the 2021 Cleveland Art Awards and the Lysaght Watt Art Awards in Hawera, and is currently in stage 2 of the international open call for the artist platform, Coca (Centre of Contemporary Artists)

Past highlights include two artist residencies in Japan, where Bakker presented a solo exhibition, also, undertook an extensive project involving the entire community in the painting of murals over Kofu Yuki Park Zoo. Further to this, Bakker had carried out personal art projects in India and Bali, and exhibitions within the Banks Peninsula region.

A passion for books and literature resulted in self-publishing and illustrating within her fine arts degree, with the honor to have some limited edition prints in the special collections of the Auckland Library, and in the Elam Fine Arts Library.

Frankie was interviewed for a two-page editorial for ‘Our People’ in The Bay Harbour News in April, 2021 - highlighting her commitment and passion to her creative process.

Frankie Bakker Reference Quotes.

“Frankie Bakker has an overflowing amount of creativity and demonstrates big ideas with the power and excellent capability too (sic) undergo negotiation in a foreign country to ful fill (sic)  projects”. (Izumi San AIRY Kofu Yamanashi Director - translated from Japanese)

“I would highly recommend Frankie for any projects requiring artistic skills, creativity, community involvement, innovative thinking, and working with a wide range of people. She is a delightful and talented young woman and I wish her all the best for her future endeavours’ (Jane Harrison - Community Development Advisor).

Frankie Bakker - “My art has a huge focus on being able to live in the moment and appreciate the smaller things and live in a more curious and care freeway, where ideas and creativity are a bewonderment, to be able to move away from what is the accepted normality and instead wholeheartedly love and appreciate yourself and the things you do and see, Her personal works often develop around emotions or thoughts and experiences working in a therapeutic manner, and stem around bird morphed humans, that idea of freedom coming through, and the natural naked beauty, and flight of the singing bird - I believe art is immense therapy to the soul and an outlet from overthinking stressful minds, and a reminder to see light and color around us, and feel it should be made available to everyone “

Colette O’Kane BA Eng Lit

Colette O’Kane worked ten years as a teacher in very remote Central Australian Aboriginal Communities which allowed her the privilege to regularly mix with many famous indigenous artists.  She spent two years in the Papunya community, the original home of the dot art painting movement, where her interest in art began to form at a deeper level.  These Western Desert Artists (and their families), including William Sandy, Long Jack Philipus and Michael Nelson were among many of O’Kane’s community members. O’Kane was given the honour of having the great-granddaughter of Long Jack Philipus named for her.  Further to this O’Kane later spent six years in the Eastern Desert region of Utopia, once again living among renowned artists such as Cowboy Loy, Margaret Loy, Gloria Petyarre, Lena Pwerle (niece of Minnie Pwerle, whose art was the first indigenous art to posthumously sell for $1,000,000).  Warmly encouraged by Lena and Rosa Pwerle, O’Kane took up painting, quickly establishing herself as an emerging artist. O’Kane has painted a series titled ‘Ode to Lena,’  acknowledging the influence of Lena Pwerle.

Before becoming a teacher, O’Kane had work published in several Australian magazine publications, including photographs, and recently published a book of poetry and short stories in line with her ‘Under the Dreamtime Sky’ art exhibition at Village Art Gallery, Little River.  O’Kane has also exhibited at ‘The Freezer Wall,’ Oamaru, and has had work in Magma Gallery, Christchurch, Koru, Dunedin and Custom House Gallery, Oamaru.  Her 2.4x1.5mtr work, ‘Na Hinemoana,’ was hung in the local office of Labour candidate, Liam Wairepo, as part of his election promotion during the 2020 elections.

O’Kane’s art twice received a highly commended in the Colin Wheeler Bi-Annual Memorial Art Competition, 2018 and 2020.  Her work has been purchased by buyers in Australia, USA and Aotearoa/NZ.  She has taken part in the Dunedin Art Show 2019 and the 2021 Christchurch Art Shows.  O’Kane was invited to take part as one of approximately ten artists in the 2020 Oamaru open studio initiative, ‘Meet the Artist.’ 

O’Kane has been featured several times in the local Oamaru paper both with poetry and art.  She is regularly invited to speak to various groups about her experiences in remote Australian Aboriginal communities which lead to her journey as an artist.  O’Kane has three poetry reading/speaking engagements booked for May 2021, one in Banks Peninsula and two in Oamaru, where her art will also be on display.

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