It’s a type of meditation when I paint…you’re in your own world of incredible depth and pleasure and it has a lot to do with colour, form, shape and ideas
“If there has ever been an artist who shows us that art is a community project, it is she.” Denys Trussell
Artist and filmmaker Claudia Pond Eyley is interviewed by her friend the poet, writer, pianist and ecologist, Denys Trussell.
This enriching interview allows us to share in Claudia’s early childhood experiences with colour and shape and the development of these ideas over 40 years as an artist. Claudia talks about leaving the Waikato as a child and going to live in Canada, her mother’s homeland; returning to New Zealand to attend art school where she was taught by Colin McCahon; her involvement in Feminist Art Network (FAN) and Visual Artists Against Nuclear Arms (VAANA); and her enjoyment in making work both about social issues and the purely spiritual experiences of colour vibrations and energy, informed by her love of Spanda (a Sanskrit term for the subtle creative pulse of the universe as it manifests into the dynamism of living form).
Visual artist, painter, printmaker, film director, Claudia Pond Eyley was born in Matamata, and attended schools in Montreal and in New York. She returned to New Zealand to attend the School of Fine Arts at Auckland University in the mid 1960’s, specialising in painting with the leading artist Colin McCahon.
As a founder member of Visual Artists Against Nuclear Disarmament and as a member of the Association of Women Artists, Claudiahas been active in the women’s, peace and social justice movements from the 1970’s and 80’s until the present time.
She has travelled widely, facilitated workshops and exhibited throughout the country. She has completed a number of mural commissions and in 2000 she designed and painted eleven stained glass windows for the St Mary’s Cathedral Church in Parnell with Glassworks and many more.
Continually involved in Peace movement issues, Pond Eyley documented the Moruroa Peace Flotilla’s protest actions during the 1995 resumption of nuclear testing in the Pacific which resulted in a major series of artworks and the publication, “Protest at Moruroa – first hand accounts from the New Zealand-based flotilla” by Tandem Press.
The artist started making documentary films in 2005 on the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. “Departure and Return final journey of the Rainbow Warrior” premiered at the NZ International Film Festival 2006. It was followed by “No Nukes Is Good Nukes!”, and her most recent film, “Kit and Maynie-Tea, Scones and Nuclear Disarmament” premiering at the Documentary Festival 2010.
Inspired by the experience of working with glass Claudia Pond Eyley continues to paint using acrylic Perspex as a base, as evidenced in the exhibitions “Anima Mundi” in 2003 and “Radiance” in 2006.
She teaches Freehand Drawing part time at the School of Architecture at the University of Auckland and lives in Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand.