ko ngāi tahu, ko ngāti kahungungu ki te wairoa te iwi
english, scottish, danish
ko tākatimu te waka
ko tangi te keo toku maunga
ko hue-te-para te moana
ko rongomaiwahine toku wahine toa
ko izzy joy toku ingoa
ko ringatoi ahau
titoro mai, tihei mauriora!
"I grew up mostly detached from Te Ao Māori. I knew I had whakapapa, that I was "part māori", but never really explored it until I reached my twenties. There's a history of mental illness and deep sense of whakamā in my ancestral line, which I later came to know as the effects of inter-generational trauma and abuse stemming from colonization and dispossession. But I come from a sacred bloodline of wāhine toa, healers and matakite. I think this is where I get my deep sense of connection with the whenua and my intuition from."
"I come from a sacred bloodline of wāhine toa, healers and matakite. I think this is where I get my deep sense of connection with the whenua and my intuition from."
"I also started struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome in my dominant hand. My Aunty (Keri Lawson-Te Aho) saw the need in me for healing and cultural reconnection, and took me to see Mark Kopua, who gave me a tā moko on my hand and wrist in the form of Hine Nui Te Pō, for guidance and healing. That was really the time when I started to connect with te ao māori, and when I started to find the voice in my art."
"Most of my work these days incorporates a combination of the themes that are important to me. the things that make me wahine, a lover of nature, and a bit of a goth. at the core, my art is about healing and empowerment, cultural reconnection, and passing on my ancestral legacy. Through the ritual practice of linework, I help to heal my ancestors, and thereby myself. My wāhine tupuna walk with me through my artwork."
Between her own projects, Izzy works as a freelance illustrator. She has completed commissions for Otago University Māori Health department, NZ Post, Action Station, and Fightback Magazine, among various exhibitions and murals around Wellington.
Earlier this year she illustrated the Ready to Read book How Kiwi Saved the Forest which Izzy describes as her "biggest illustration job."