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Creatively Christchurch

Aimee Belton – Singer and Actress

Music, Performance

How would you describe what you do?

Actor, singer, lyric writer and one time teacher of drama.

What was your most recent project?

 Writing and performing the album Mimi and Rivers – doing all the things that come with releasing an album.

What project have you worked on that you’re the most proud of?

Acting in Three Sisters Rosenberg at the Circa Theatre in Wellington. We were the last show to perform in the old Circa building and the first to show at the new Circa on the waterfront. Two sold out seasons working with some of the best actors in New Zealand, it was an amazing experience.

What is essential for creatives to have in their life?

Space for creating – both mentally and environmentally. Time. Inspiration. Experiences. Support. Oh… and money to see ideas come to fruition!

What inspires you about Ōtautahi?

My last album Mimi and Rivers was very much inspired by the Christchurch Earthquake sequence. It was a huge part of my healing process and was very cathartic.

Aside from that, growing up around the Banks Peninsula area was always an inspiration for creativity and all the history in the Arts Centre and the creative people in the city all helped shape my own creativity.

What piece of advice about your creative work has served you well?

True creatives are those who dig deep to explore themselves and are never afraid to share their experiences, no matter how raw or vulnerable the material is. Take risks. Be Brave. Work tirelessly.

What’s the biggest misconception about your creative work?

That it’s easy or somehow indulgent.

What Christchurch artists do you most admire?

Alison Harper. Singer and actor. She was at drama school (Toi Whaakari) a year below me and I so admire her tenacity. She has never given up and has managed to create creative opportunities for almost 30 years. I’m in awe of her positive nature. Mark Hadlow is another person I admire and Jason Gunn – actors from my own era who I worked with have kept going and are still doing what they love.

What artwork/piece of music/performance has taken your breath away?

Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. I stood in front of the original and was overcome with emotion. In terms of New Zealand art – I love some of Alan Pearson’s work. I modelled for him in Christchurch at the Arts centre when I was 19 years old and have followed his work since. I have two of his still life drawings of me and it blows me away how he managed to capture the older, mature me when I was still only 19.

What do you wish you’d have known about creative work when you were younger?

That it takes huge commitment, courage, personal sacrifice, compromise and resilience to stick at being an artist. I eventually became a real estate agent to survive financially but sacrificed my creative soul in the process. I very much miss not having the time to be creative.

 

People
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