Rachael Hirabayashi | BIO < back to artists

I was born in Auckland 1965, one of identical twins. I studied printing then later worked in Auckland as a commercial artist/graphic designer. This included work as an in-house artist for a children’s book publisher and an illustrator/designer in a Parnell design company.
Overseas travel took me to Europe and Japan, where I stayed on for an extensive time. Shifting back to New Zealand I chose to live in the South Island, Queenstown.
I continued with graphic design work and later moved to Dunedin to a Bachelors degree in art history/theory.
I travelled to South America, the USA and on to Mexico where I lived for 6 months. Studying Spanish was inspirational as was the time spent painting and drawing.
On returning to Central Otago I settled in Cromwell in a 100 year old cottage and now with my three dogs and a large garden.
In 2002 I won the Locations Painting Award at the Lakes District Museum Autumn Exhibition and have been involved in several public art displays and shows since. In conjunction with Springbank General Metalwork I gained the commission from Aspiring Arts Trust to create a sculpture for Arrowtown. ‘Workings’ is in place on the corner of Ramsay Lane and Buckingham Street.

My Work

The surface of the canvas is where I try to intermesh an idea with a recognizable visual form. Layers of pigment and paint act as a filter for my feelings for a place.
Most images are based on a memory, something that has made an impression upon me, either visually or emotionally.


2009 Locations Premier Painting Award
Lakes District Museum and Gallery
2009 Merit Award
Aspiring Art Award, Wanaka
2008 Merit Award
Aspiring Art Award, Wanaka
2006 Locations Premier Painting Award
Lakes District Museum and Gallery