Artistic strides: Jacqui Colley

Jacqui Colley is an award-winning New Zealand artist. She was born in Zambia and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa where she studied graphic design at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Then she relocated to New Zealand in 1996. Jacqui began sporadically painting while working full time as a graphic designer. After realising how much energy her role as a graphic designer was taking, she took the plunge to commit to painting full time. She now exhibits her work internationally and frequently collaborates on special projects and residencies.

Jacqui’s recent exhibition at PG Gallery, To the sea, was created in harmony with her daily walks around Wellington. Her work is most often an abstract response to place, and this exhibition is no different. She incorporated what she saw at stop points on her walk into her abstract painting. Abstract expressionism is at the forefront of her practice.

When asked about her colour choices for her pieces, she responds, “The colours choose you, colour is something you feel.” Key to success for Jacqui is to not strive for perfection, “I embrace the risks as they arise,” she comments.

Jacqui Colley

When Jacqui received the esteemed Parkin Drawing Prize in 2018, the judge, Kelcy Taratoa, said he couldn’t take his eyes off her work. Jacqui is especially fond of this award as it gave her a strong foundation to reach out to galleries. Currently, Jacqui is enjoying spending time in her studio and is working towards a new solo exhibition.

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