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Deb Donnelly

Textile Designer / Curator
Dip. Textile Design

Ishibashi Foundation/Japan Foundation Fellowship for research on Japanese Art 2019

World Shibori NZ representative

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Japan / NZ European

Wellington born, Kapiti Coast-based artist Deb has a major interest in ethnographic textiles research.

Research is presented as installation practice 

based on input from inter-generational audiences. Technology and cultures play critical roles to find

balance and imbalance of perspectives of slow cloth applications, e.g. resist shibori and kasuri weaves, located in Asian family and cultural artefacts.

Deb's arts practice began in 1970s Wellington as

an art and design student. Since 1990, after a

period of working in NZ textile print and interior

design industries, Deb taught specialist subjects in

Porirua colleges: practical art design for marketing,

printmaking, and fashion design to students.

A Japan NZ Design exchange grant to Japan in 1993 helped to open her teaching to Asian design students on her return to teaching at Wellington Polytechnic. 

Current research involves facilitating personal narrative and reflective feminist practice as curator, connector, educator and arts practitioner.


With a Eurasian family heritage with socialist democratic core values, beliefs, skills and artistic whakapapa, it was important to Deb to develop a teaching philosophy that offered multiple perspectives which engage both students and colleagues. Themes of her personal artwork are drawn from the auto-ethnographic research and design thinking that connect audiences to ‘a sense of an in between place' or an emerging state of being to view the world.


As a Kapiti Coast public arts facilitator, Deb has managed numerous community art projects throughout Porirua and Kapiti regions. This practice acts as a platform: for shared ideas created with local and international participants and supports public engagement in the arts.


In 2019 through the Ishibashi Foundation Fellowship in Japan, Deb observed many artisans and designers holding and balancing spiritual and daily needs in their practices e.g. Japanese-based indigo and natural dyeing, and kasuri weaving practices as cultural identity between two worlds. Past and present, revisiting manufacturing processes with the hand-made mode of authentic narrative.


The cultural exchange enquiry has invigorated Deb's own creative development as a practitioner; revisiting and redefining curatorship of cultural and contemporary craft practices. She seeks to share both design and arts thinking in contemporary galleries, festivals, national and international symposiums, and public arts spaces. 

Follow Deb on her travels, projects and 
works on her blog and Instagram:

Nuno 3D sculptural felt 2014

NZ merino wool and paj silk, shibori resist dyed.


NZ Japan cultural exchange 2019 - a study of identity and place.

Shibori resist Indigo on cotton, Nuno ecoprint natural dyes on NZ merino wool, vintage Japanese katazome indigo textiles, hand-made paper,  dyed threads, hand-stitched.

BAppA (Ceramics & Art Objects)

2018     NEWSTEAD Solo Exhibition, Porirua NZ

2017     ‘Choice and Chances’ - Curator's Choice Award

2016     EXIT Exhibition - Curator's Choice Award

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Marie L. Enslin

Zimbabwe / South Africa

Marie L. Enslin is a South African artist living and working in Aotearoa/New Zealand since 2015.

Born during the Zimbabwean Liberation War, Marie and her family's subsequent move to South Africa had a tremendous influence on her outlook on life.  As an young immigrant she suffered from feelings of isolation and dislocation and was never comfortable in the conservative mining town of Welkom, South Africa. The repressive nature of growing up the Apartheid era, fed Marie’s need to escape and create. Supported by her family she began her artistic endeavors through various mediums such as pottery, painting and performance art. 

In 2003 Marie formed 'The Drumming Co.', an African performance-based tourism entertainment company. The company operated throughout Southern Africa, specifically Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It partnered with tribal performance groups to empower local artists and foster skills development. Some of these artists have gone on to own their own drumming entertainment companies in other parts of the world.

Returning to South Africa, Marie began working in the corporate world while studying early education and the Montessori Method at night and volunteered at 'Children at Risk' at Christ Church, Midrand, teaching Mathematics and English to children impacted by HIV/AIDS. 

She was able to once again take up ceramics and joined renowned South African artist Digby Hoets at his Studio in Carlswald, Gauteng. During this period Marie took part in a number of group exhibitions.

Coming to New Zealand in 2015 offered an opportunity to further her artistic career. She began studying at Whitireia Polytechnic in 2016, in 2017 winning The Curators Choice Award for 'Choices and Chances', a mixed media installation piece looking at immigration to New Zealand from a South African perspective at the Strata Exhibition. In 2018 she received a Bachelor of Applied Arts majoring in ceramics and object art. 

In 2018 Marie worked as a Youth Mentor for Wesley Community Action. With emphasis placed on the development and maintenance of a positive and healthy relationship with a young person who had a history of learning problems and at-risk behaviour. This was an opportunity to combine her love for art and creativity with teaching life skills for social upliftment.

Marie is currently doing experimental work with ceramics and ferrous metals out of her studio in Porirua.


Her fundamental philosophy is that social development can be fostered through artistic expression. 

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Marie during her BAppA study at Whitireia NZ

Marie L. Enslin, NEWSTEAD solo exhibition 2018

NEWSTEAD solo exhibition 2018

Red brick, porcelain, steel nails, copper wire

Marie L. Enslin, NEWSTEAD solo exhibition 2018

NEWSTEAD solo exhibition, 2018


Red brick, porcelain, steel nails, copper wire

Marie L. Enslin, Choices and Chances 2017

Choices and Chances 2016

Various size pinch pots made from   porcelain or cast copper

Marie L. Enslin, Interpretations 2017

Interpretations, 2017


Porcelain, steel nails

50mm x 50mm x 85mm

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