First artist in residence finds village a perfect canvas

Toni Mosley, the artist in residence at the Howick Historical Village, will be hosting free art workshop on Saturday, Feb 13. Times photo Farida Master

Toni Mosley is recreating history at the Howick Historical Village.

As part of Summernova, a summer festival funded by Auckland Unlimited, Mosley is the first artist in residence at the village.

The three-month residency programme followed by an exhibition of her works of art from April through to June has the art teacher and printmaking artist, reimagine history.

While Mosley finds the village a perfect canvas with fascinating stories behind the historic cottages and its people, it was faded and torn wallpaper that first caught her artistic eye.

“It’s layers and layers of history, some faded, some torn, different textures, design and colours all coming together to tell a story,” she says of the two-dimensional wallpaper that provided a starting point for her artistic journey at the village.

A cosy studio, which is part of a print room housed at the Eckford Homestead, gives the prolific artist the space to wander around the village seeking inspiration.

“The idea behind the residency is activating this space, having conversations with people and inviting them to come and see the work in my space,” says Mosley.

She teaches art at Te Tuhi, Nathan Homestead, Connect the Dots (art for seniors) and Ronald McDonald House.

“This whole place is based on history which is real and not-so-real,” she reflects.

“If you think about it, these old buildings didn’t really exist in this particular space.

Historical buildings were brought together to recreate a colonial village. This gives us an exciting opportunity to recreate history.”

Mosley’s work-in-progress is an artistic combination of mixed-media.

“It creates different points of interest with screen printing, drawing, paint, words as it occasionally integrates a collage, adding value to the artwork.

“I’m challenging myself in my own palette, exploring how different objects tie in with each other,” she says.

The artist in residence will hold free drawing lessons for kids and adults on Saturday, February 13.

These will run alongside macramé, floristry, book binding and photography workshops as well as free beekeeping and composting classes.

Krissy Perrett, the director of the village, says that in conjunction with Auckland Unlimited’s Summernova, they’re offering Aucklanders a new way to enjoy Howick Historical Village with a summer festival of firsts.

“We’re breathing some life back into the streets of Howick Historical Village with an exciting series of events for everyone to enjoy,” she says.