Regan Balzer

Regan Balzer is a practicing Māori artist, living in Aotearoa, New Zealand.  Regan has developed her individual style from a combination of cultural iconography painted with a combination of layers and styles.  Regan has exhibited extensively around Aotearoa (NZ) and overseas. In 2011, Regan completed a Masters in Māori Visual Arts at the renowned school of art Te Pūtahi-ā-Toi, Massey University, Palmerston North (NZ), graduating with honours.

From an early age, Regan has been exposed to images of the sulphuric landscape of her hometown Rotorua, New Zealand.  In this thermal wonderland, steam, and the vivid contrasting colours caused by natural minerals, water and earth, form the palette of colours, within which Regan likes to develop her paintings.   The hues of her homeland intertwine throughout her work, while customary imagery from her homeland, juxtaposes contemporary contexts.

Regan’s process of applying both detailed and expressive layers of paint creates an avenue for elements in the works to be hidden or aspects to boldly stand out. The feast of shades produce a playful display of painted illusion where parts protrude and recede in a visual symphony of color and form. 

With a particular interest in the forms derived from customary Māori arts practices, such as Māori woodcarving and weaving, Regan incorporates these elements of her heritage into her work to develop visual narratives, which are often in response to past or current issues that affect her and her people at a local level, parallels of which can also be seen to be happening throughout the world.

NZ based artist & educator Regan Balzer, has spent her life-time learning through exploration.  After successfully completing a Bachelor of Teaching (Rumaki Reo) in 2001 (at the Waikato University), Regan went on to teach Mathematics and Art in Māori Immersion High School (Wharekura).  Having a stable income at the time, Regan was able to develop her art practice and career as an artist.

With a first solo exhibition in 2005 at Hei Tiki Gallery, Rotorua, Regan continued making art until achieving a Master’s in Māori Visual Arts (Hons) from Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, Massey University.  From this day her career took off in wonderful ways and on her graduation day, Regan was flying out to exhibit as an invited artist in Cassino, Italy. 

Regan has gone on to participate in numerous exhibitions throughout New Zealand as well as overseas (in particluar, Italy, America, Australia, Rarotonga and Tahiti).  She is particularly interested in strengthening a contemporary art practice by reflecting and learning about traditional knowledge and exploring these concepts within her work and how they relate to current practices and living. 

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