Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Meet the People - 21
Meet the People 21 – Contemporary Maori Doing Ordinary and Extraordinary Things – Linzi Hodge (Ngati Wai, Northland), grew up in Whangarei and then left New Zealand five years ago to explore what lay beyond. She’s been living in Sydney ever since where she now works as a florist. Her ties to New Zealand though, remain strong and she returns every six months to reacquaint herself with her roots. “Living in Sydney has made me realise what a beautiful country New Zealand is and hopefully I’ll move back within the next five years,” she says. Linzi, 26, says her Northland upbringing included learning Maori at school. “When I was young my birth father’s family was very traditional and we spent a lot of time going onto the marae. I didn’t enjoy it then but now I look back and think it was an important part of my upbringing.” More recently she returned home to get married to her Australian partner, Kirk Macdonald.
Linzi completed a floristry course in Sydney and now works as a florist, incorporating traditional Maori harakeke (flax) putiputi (flowers) into her work. “It can be difficult to get flax here so I buy it from a foliage man at the flower markets. I’ve based a lot of my work on putiputi. I enjoy using Maori designs in all of my work and it’s great to show that to people here, who have no idea about Maori, the designs or the meanings behind them. I’ve had a huge response to my woven flowers over here.”
But Linzi doesn’t stop at floristry. She’s inspired by anything creative including acrylic painting and sewing clothes and cushions (made from old, woollen New Zealand blankets). She sells her Kiwiana-inspired cushions on Etsy, the global creative Internet site that presents the creative work of hundreds of thousands of people from over 150 countries. And on top of that, she runs her own blogsite – http://pinkpixiepants.blogspot.com/ – where she indulges her passion for photography and all things creative. You can check out more of her work there and read about what she makes of living in Sydney.