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Meet the Creatives at Toi Auaha – Dave Molony


Dave Molony is one of the creatives at Toi Auaha – he’s a large format photographer and he spoke to us about exactly what he does and how he thinks about the creative process.


Tell us what it is you do?
I am a large format photographer/visual artist, photographing shapes, light and colour. I digitally manipulate analog images to make abstract collages, exploring shape, form, texture and colour. Focusing on aesthetics, the process of inventing forms and simulating textures.

What was your most recent project?

My most recent project was completing a Master of Creative Process at Ara Te Pukenga and researching, learning and writing about abstract art literacy. My current project is exploring how to get a mental and physical response from a photograph using form, colour and texture.

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

The project I am most proud of is working on a single image, an artist’s response to the 2019 Mosque terror attack. I was really sickened by the ideas of horrific human cruelty and the ideas behind this man’s ideology. I needed to vent my sadness and emotion about this event through artwork.

What is essential for creatives to have in their life?

Books, galleries and other creatives.

What inspires you about Ōtautahi?

I am inspired by the friendliness of the people of Ōtautahi, I walk down a street and people acknowledge my presence. Their openness to discuss their personal history, and life story which I always find particularly interesting.

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

The practice of consciously looking. From the work comes the work. The more I do something, the less I fear it. This does not make making art any easier, only less scary and debilitating. Work work work!

What’s the biggest misconception about your creative work?

That it is far from easy and it takes lots of hard work and thought.

What Christchurch artists do you most admire?

Helen Calder. Calder’s work astounds me and the experience I get from looking at her work. When I look at her work, I can imagine how it feels to touch. Calder’s work gives such a strong physical response to the viewer. Helen Calder’s work inspires me to what is possible from art and motivates me in my own work.

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

Raukura Turei large abstract work Te Poho O Hine-Moana shown at CoCa

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

How stimulating and rewarding it is to lead an art life.

What’s your favourite hidden secret in Ōtautahi?

The artisan food producers and world class winemakers that Ōtautahi has.

You can find Dave at:


image Image: Dave Moloney
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