To enter Fleur Wickes' home is to pass between worlds — from the traffic and noise of Calver's Corner, through a small, green sanctuary harbouring traditional garden plants like fuchsia, rosemary and lavender, into a place of quiet, peace and introspection.
"I can see the river, I can see green, and it's quite lovely," she says.
Fleur's house is her home, her studio and her exhibition space. When you come to view her work, you take Fleur as you find her and her art as you see it.
Some, you might find confronting, some, calming. Some will make you smile and some will make you wonder at human behaviour. There is grief, there is joy, there are other people's true stories from Fleur's perspective. There is never just art.
Fleur has produced a programme, a guide to steer viewers through her story, a story displayed in her lounge and bedroom.
The exhibition is called A Private View. Apt.
"The idea is to give context to my work, so instead of it being in a gallery, it's in the place it's made and shown within the life it comes from. All my work is personal — it is about me and my life.
"I find that if you open yourself up and make yourself vulnerable, it's actually a strength. If you talk about the difficult things, the private things, it's like 'this is who I am'. People take that or leave that. It's important to discuss these real things.
"We live in a disconnected world, increasingly digital, so this is something 'in the real', in someone's home, in someone's life. Speaking of my life in its entirety, the tough stuff, the black terror and grief and sadness, contrasting with that [she points to a framed photograph of old fashioned flowers] which is pretty and a side of me that watches The Block and enjoys things that are just light.
"But also my name is Fleur, my mother gave that name to me, every time I look at [the flowers] I think of my mother, my grandmother and my great grandmother; they all loved flowers."
That particular work is called F is for Flower and so many other things.
"There is nothing more important sometimes than having something just gorgeous.
"The other thing I'm pleased about with this show is there is quite a wide range of work, some purely photographic [a large monochrome print of her own shadow on a piece of road] — this is The Road I'm On, which is literally the road I walk on every day and it says a lot about where I am at. Then we've got the words and the drawing, we've got chalk on board, and then in there [bedroom], painting.
"So I'm really excited by the breadth of it."
She says that in a gallery or conventional setting an artist shows a body of work, a series, which is something she was purposely not doing.
"The other thing about this show is that because it is intimate in nature, and private, the viewing of it is by private view, by appointment only.
"It is Friday, Saturday and Sunday for all of March, 10am till 4.30pm, so people need to go online and book or they could text me."
Fleur's website is fleurwickes.co.nz and her mobile number is 021 337 661.
Bookings can be for up to four people.
"It's to give people who come a full experience of what's happening here. If I can make people feel something, that would be great."