Raglan artist and rising talent Dominique Marriott is turning the creative process on its head with her new must-see performance-based exhibition in Hamilton next week.

Visitors will be able to experience how Dominique infuses the ancient practice of Japanese brush calligraphy into her nude paintings, in an energetic performance where the artist paints live from a nude model in the gallery.

The artist will quickly paint a large volume of ink works using a Japanese calligraphy brush, with each piece completed in just a few minutes. Only a few are selected later as final artworks.

The performance will allow visitors to really engage with Dominique's creative process.

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"It's a pretty risky strategy because artists usually present only their most successful pieces to the public, but here I'm inviting you to engage with the whole process, flaws and all," says Dominique.

"I try to remain free from judgement, so I can work intuitively. This technique is really about putting your energy into the work itself and being totally mentally present during it."

Dominique is also going to be participating in the Raglan Arts Weekend over Easter where visitors will be able to purchase her work and chat to her about the creative process.

Visitors to Raglan will be spoilt for choice: 37 artists have agreed to open their studios and places of work, making this the biggest Raglan Arts Weekend ever.

"I've been participating for three years in the Raglan Arts Weekend and it's such a wonderful opportunity to talk to people about my art and my journey too," she says.

Dominique's practice is influenced largely by Zen and the Japanese Arts. The artist has been learning Shodō — the Way of Japanese Calligraphy — to fully understand the principles at play. Shodō is substantially rooted in philosophy.

It's a form of active meditation that trains the mind to flow freely, without judgement or attachment.

Dominique aims to capture the essence of a figure in the fewest brush strokes possible. Photo / Ellen Chelsey
Dominique aims to capture the essence of a figure in the fewest brush strokes possible. Photo / Ellen Chelsey

"It is said that ink markings allow us to see our character or our current state of mind," Dominique says.

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"Ink is a difficult, unforgiving medium. It's very responsive, so the slightest hesitation will show on paper."

Visitors to Dominique's exhibition will also see the unique life drawing experience, usually only accessible to artists.

"In this setting, nudity is comfortable and completely natural," explains Dominique. "I believe this should be experienced by a wider audience."

Dominique has a degree in Visual Arts from Unitec in Auckland. More recently, she has been tutored by Nelson-based Akiko Crowther, one of the few Grand Master Calligraphers outside of Japan.

Akiko has recognised Dominique's talent and expressed an interest in mentoring the artist to become a Master Calligrapher herself.

"It's a pretty exciting time for me and it's definitely having a profound impact on my life outside of my work too," says Dominique.

Don't miss Dominique's performance exhibition in Hamilton at Freit Contemporary, 10 High St, Thursday April 18, 5.30pm (performance starts at 6pm).

Limited spaces available so bookings are essential. Email: Register at mindbrush.nz. Exhibition open until May 11.

Raglan Arts Weekend

Head to the Raglan Arts Weekend this Easter where artists' home studios will open Saturday April 20, Sunday April 21 and Monday April 22 from 10am until 5pm, with a select few closing at 3pm.

Start at the Old School Arts Centre and pick up a brochure, plan your route and also get a taste of what art is in store at the Preview Exhibition.

Dominique will be displaying her work below Raglan House at 45 Bow St.

For further information, visit www.raglanartsweekend.nz, or www.facebook.com/raglanart or pick up a copy of the brochure at the Raglan i-SITE on Wainui Road or at various cafes and galleries across the North Island.