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Young Artist at Repertory Theatre

Rep Artist

“I am an artist.” With this positive, affirming statement Niamh O’Connell introduced herself to me. Niamh has created the poster for Repertory Theatre’s December production of ‘Red Riding Hood’ and we’re thrilled with her handiwork.

Born and raised in Whanganui, Niamh attended Durie Hill School, Wanganui Intermediate School and has just completed her final year at Wanganui High School. Always interested in art, Niamh has won five trophies for her art work, one from primary school and four from Wanganui High School.

Next year Niamh is looking forward to pursuing a Bachelor of Creative Media Production at the Massey University campus in Wellington, living in the nearby student hostel. “All mediums except print making,” replied Niamh when I asked her about her favourite art form. She enjoys working in oils, ink, acrylics and air brushing.

Portrait painting holds a particular fascination for Niamh O’Connell. “People are fascinating to draw and paint. There are so many things going on … emotions, relationships. My painting this year is about colour and the relationship between emotions and colour, the correlation between the two. Shades of red exhibit anger and passion, blue shows sadness, yellow is a happy colour while orange demonstrates surprise and excitement.”

“I don’t have a special artist I admire but I do respect digital art, particularly digital painting because it’s so hard. They are really difficult skills to master”, Niamh told me.

What does the future hold for this talented young lady? As yet Niamh is unsure of what she wants in the years to come. Exploring options at the Massey campus in Wellington over the next four years should help clarify that for our young artist but at this stage she thinks it would be fun to work in a studio in some form of animation. In the past Niamh has done some stop go animation which is very time consuming.

Performing arts have also caught Niamh’s attention, working backstage on Wanganui High School’s production of ‘Annie’ and for the Stage Challenge. Music plays an important part in Niamh’s life also, playing violin since the age of seven and performing with the Wanganui Orchestra in August, gaining NCEA credits for music.

Another connection with Rep’s pantomime is with our production pianist Ben Power, as they play violin together.

I hope that Niamh enjoys her collaboration with Repertory Theatre as much as we enjoy the lovely poster she’s produced for us. Thanks for the ‘Red Riding Hood’ poster Niamh.