Dr Tabatha Forbes is an artist living and working in Opunake, South Taranaki New Zealand. With a Doctorate in Fine Arts from the University of Auckland, Tabatha has a particular interest in how we connect with our natural environments. She explores this subject extensively through her contemporary botanical art practice, teaching, photography and writing.
More from the artist: For the last three years my family and I have lived in Taranaki, recently moving out to the wild South Taranaki coastal town of Opunake, New Zealand. Previously we lived on the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands for six years and before that lived in an orchard west of Auckland, where I painted, taught botanical art and began my postgraduate studies at the University of Auckland. in 2016, I graduated with a Doctorate in Fine Arts which I completed in Rarotonga.
The concept of working in residence is an important part of my art practice and I regard my 'home' place as the subject and inspiration for my work. This is central to my interest in exploring the ways we perceive and value our natural environment. I have worked in residence in the orchard (Auckland, NZ) and the island (Rarotonga) and now the coast (South Taranaki, NZ). I have also done shorter more formal residencies in Kingston, South Island, Le Havre, France and Tasmania, Australia.
Life may be framed differently, but as always, it is significantly dominated by the environment and history containing and influencing me.
I have been exhibiting painting and photography since I was 17 and have worked as an arts administrator, curator and tutor. My work is multi disciplinary including working in the field of sound installation, performance and moving image. Currently my painting and prints focuses on botanical and natural history subjects. My works are available at SEED Gallery (NZ), Bergman Gallery (Rarotonga), and are held in private collections all over the globe. Right now, my sculptor husband and I are in the process of setting up a workshop and showroom for our work in main street Opunake. TBC !