“Being an artist gives me a voice. I’m not a confident speaker, the voice within my paintings is louder than my own voice”
Since graduating from North Tec in 2019 with a Bachelor of Applied Arts, Isaiah Rameka has maintained a rigorous studio practice. In 2021 at the age of twenty three, he held his first solo show He tāngata with MD Gallery. He is currently one paper away from completing a post grad Diploma in Maori Visual Arts with Massey University, which he hopes will lead into the Masters Programme. Born in Whangarei in 1998, it wasn’t until Rameka was a student at Tikipunga High School that he got serious about drawing. “My teachers really encouraged me to draw and see that I had a talent for the medium”. As a school leaver he enrolled in the Art Academy Programme at Whangarei’s North Tec where in his second year of study he discovered painting. It took a while to find his confidence with this new medium and initially painted in variations of black and white only. “Colour really scared me! I didn’t know how to mix colours together and had no idea how to translate what I saw in nature or in a photo, into a painting”. Eventually with the mentoring of his tutors and his passion for painting, he gained the confidence to combine colours – he was hooked. “When I did my end of year exhibition in the Art Academy that was the turning point when I knew I wanted to be a professional artist”.