A String of Luxuriant Gemstones

Paris Kirby
BFA, PG Diploma, New Zealand

“I liked the consistency – time and space for learning.”

14718671_10209288741889183_6678784030082820074_nParis is a full-time visual artist and casual lecturer at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, University in Auckland, New Zealand. Her father is a professional photographer.

She has received the following awards – AMP Dare to Dream Scholarship, WhitecliffeCollege of arts and Design Scholarship, New Market Young Designer Award. She has exhibited at dozens of galleries in Germany and New Zealand.

The core focus of her practice is ‘Painting the Sacred’ in its ideology, process and outcome. Her process is devotional to the divinity of mother nature whom she depicts through painting. However her work can also result in writing, drawing, photography, installation, performance and educational experiences. It is her primary intention to elevate the natural world to divine status through art.

Relationships with Nature by Paris Kirby
Book launched in 2016. The book is a collection of curated images and essays exploring human relationship with the natural world.

Life Drawing Classes at Auckland Art Gallery 2017
Curated and hosted by Paris Kirby

Relationships with Nature Life Drawing Classes at Auckland Art Gallery 2017 Curated and hosted by Paris Kirby

In New Zealand, the land, waters and sky hold great spiritual significance through Maori culture, but unfortunately the stories have been largely lost due to colonisation. Luckily some ancient knowledge still exists and this has become of great influence to her practice. In the western world it is becoming increasingly hard to find meaning, community and belief as people dive deeper into the future of technology, consumerism and the destruction of environment. Because of this she feels motivated to give the land a voice, connect individuals through shared experience, and provide pathways to ways of thinking that enable individuals to connect with the land and the higher consciousness of nature and themselves.

I find sanctuary in the Arms of Mother Kauri and Paint in Reciprocity 2017 Acrylic and gold leaf on board 1050mm x 1400 mmThis image show her art and work before coming to 365 Haridwar.

I find sanctuary in the Arms of Mother Kauri, and Paint in Reciprocity, 2017
Acrylic and gold leaf on board
1050mm x 1400 mm
As part of her solo exhibition Sanctuary at Sanderson Contemporary Art, New Zealand.

At AZIMVTH Ashram, Paris Kirby was introduced to and trained for breathing exercises and mantra chanting. She also immersed in the local context and participated in a Hindu wedding at Haridwar.

Ar the 365 Haridwar/ AZIMVTH residency, Paris researched the artwork that is present within places of worship to study the techniques, symbolism and processes of creation. She wanted to understand the power these artefacts have to communicate the essence of the divine, how they aid in storytelling, how the composition and symbolism illustrates the belief system, and the effect it has on the individual and wider community, across history and into the future.

Project A: Om Jai (Product Design – Mala)

Paris delved into an art form that was entirely new to her. She created 18 unique malas, rosary beads, made up of astrological gem stones. She designed a new label ‘Om Jai’ for this.



Project B: Diary in Water Colours

Paris maintained a diary in which see made water-colours at the residency. And affixed various souvenirs.

Project C: Photography

Paris bought a new camera just before coming to AZIMVTH Ashram. She wanted to soak in and record the new experiences that may act as muse for her future work.

Project D: Performance Art

D.1 Paris was accompanied to Har-ki-paidi (steps to God) the main place in Haridwar where the grandest evening prayer to Ganges happens since millennia. While the prayers were going on, she used the Ganga-water from the river, considered divine in India, and made water-colour art.

D.2 Ganges enters plains at Haridwar in several streams. Appropriate locations were scouted and at one place she conducted an elaborate session of purifying each mala in Ganges and arranging the malas in a mandala with many kilograms of fresh flowers. A priest was conducting special prayers doing the entire session.

20171208_092135 - CopyParis gifted a few precious things to AZIMVTH Ashram. Two ancient Pounamu jade pieces polished and finished by her were gifted. She had mined these on one of her frequent mountain hikes in New Zealand. She also presented a coffee-table book The Maori that was part of her family library.

This image shows her painting nestled between holy Tulsi plants. This painting titled ‘Kauri 2017’ was also gifted by her to AZIMVTH Ashram. It is one-of-its-kind print of one of her paintings and is hand gold finished by her.

Following images show Paris making a water colour at Har-ki-Paidi on Ganges, Haridwar while the evening ritual Aarati (prayer) is in progress.

Impact & Next Levels
Paris gained new invaluable insights. This new influence will be crucial in the ongoing development of her practice, and will have a significant impact on how she draws connections between land, spirituality, art, and humanity.

Om Jai

Paris will be developing her new label ‘Om Jai’ of rosary beads, depending upon the response she gets in New Zealand.