Janet de Wagt
Website – www.janetdewagt.co.nz
Born in New Zealand of a Dutch father, Janet de Wagt has been a working artist all her life, combining my painting with living and travelling in different parts of the world. Whilst living in the Northern hemisphere, her subject focus was people and their immediate environments. And since arriving back in New Zealand in 1996, landscapes have been the focus of her work. Janet is also prolific in her work in the community, working in schools, speaking at conferences and judging art.
Do you remember any Dutch influences in your life as a child in New Zealand?
Yes, absolutely. I feel very lucky because I was brought up with the best of both: Dutch and New Zealand culture. We had a Dutch community around us with my parents’ friends, who in a way became my Dutch aunties and uncles. My Dutch heritage is very important to me. I’ve been to the Netherlands many times and I am quite close to my family there.
Does it influence your art also?
Yes, my art is definitely influenced by my Dutch heritage.
For example, I’ve done work about my father’s journey to New Zealand and I’ve done work about the naming of New Zealand also. I am an information gatherer and because of my Dutch roots I have a fascination with the stories of the old masters. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I made a series of paintings representing the different stages you go through. They are all based on Rembrandt’s paintings of women.
What are you most proud of?
My tattoo, or rather what is represents. It’s a flying clog over the Pacific, so it holds both cultures.