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 About Rebecca

Rebecca Holden is an artist based in Wellington, New Zealand. In 2013 she completed her MFA at Massey University in Wellington. Rebecca has exhibited both in New Zealand and overseas and teaches part-time at The School of Fine Arts in the college of Creative Arts, Massey University Wellington.


>>View Rebecca's CV>>


About my Work

My paintings, large and gestural, employ visual narratives to explore the multiple guises of humanity. The good and the bad conditions of humankind act as agency to my practice. I utilise figuration and colour in the portrayal of emotion and gesture.

Representations of animals, a regular feature in my works, are interwoven into the composite arrangement of my paintings. The animals are often metaphors for different aspects of humanity. The perspective of distance, be it geographical or historical, also informs my work.

In my paintings I utilise different levels of finish from sketched forms to layered, more highly rendered areas to give different levels of interest to areas of the work. Mistakes and corrections are left partially visible marking the progress of the works journey.

The work is not fully planned before the act of painting takes place as it's important for me to be open to chance happenings during the process of making. I enjoy the impromptu (and sometimes invited) participation of others in the formation of the work. These encounters challenge me to work in ways I might not immediately expect of myself.

My paintings are project led which often determines the size and number of the works. Depending on the project, I most often work on paper as it can be adapted to the space it is hung in. This ability to manipulate the support enables the opportunity for unexpected relationships to occur between different aspects of my artwork and the space it populates.

– Rebecca Holden


In the News


Rebecca Holden in the news

'Rebecca Holden is going places’ | Stuff Entertainment, 13 December 2016

Aricle about my residency at Expressions in July 2014





News Archive


Rebecca Holden artist in residence at Samuel Marsden

Over a 5 week period I have had the pleasure of being the 2017 Samuel Marsden Artist in Residence. It’s been a fantastic opportunity to work on some pieces for my Grimm Project as well as run workshops with the students and introduce them to how this practicing artist creates her paintings. Check out my blog for more details

June 2017

Innovative Travel gets behind taking 'Sand in the Apricot Jam' to Israel!

Thank you to Innovative Travel for their sponsorship of 'Sand in the Apricot Jam' getting to Israel. Innovative Traval specialise in unique tours, for example tours of WW1 battlefields and tours of the Ancient Kingdoms. Check out what they have on offer >

March 2017


Spread 'Sand in the Apricot Jam' to Israel – crowd fundraiser

New Zealand artist, Rebecca Holden has been invited to show her WW1 commemorative exhibition 'Sand in the Apricot Jam' in Rishon LeZion, Israel in Nov 2017.
The exhibition on the NZ Mounted Riflemen is scheduled to coincide with the centenary of 2 significant WW1 battles – but she needs your help make it happen.
She will be running a Pledgeme crowd funding campaign from 17 February - 28 March, to help fund this incredible opportunity – please help spread the word


February 2017


Peoples Choice Award Winner – Wellington Regional Art Review

I'm thrilled to have received the Peoples Choice Award for 'Hansel and Gretel Lost in the Woods' at the recent Wellington Regional Art Review exhibition!
Thanks so much for all those who voted for my painting. Thanks also to Upper Hutt i-SITE, Interislander and Expressions Whirinaki Arts and Entertainment Centre.

November 2016


Finalist in the Wellington Regional Art Review

‘Hansel & Gretel Lost in the Woods', acrylic and oil on on paper, 2016 by Rebecca Holden, was selected as one of 50 finalists for the Wellington Regional Art Review. This exhibition is on at Expressions Art and Entertainment Centre, Upper Hutt, New Zealand until the 20th of November 2016.

September 2016


Finalist in the Parkin Drawing Prize

‘Hansel & Gretel’, graphite on gesso, on paper, 2016 by Rebecca Holden, was selected as one of 90 finalists out of 429 entries for the 2016 Parkin Drawing Prize. This prize celebrates drawing in all it’s many varied forms and I am honoured to be a part of the 2016 exhibition. This exhibition is at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, New Zealand until the 28th of August.

August 2016


Sand in the Apricot Jam exhibition at The National Army Museum, Waiouru, NZ

From 25th May until 21st August 2016 Sand in the Apricot Jam will be exhibited at the National Army Museum in Waiouru, NZ. This body of work commemorates the role of the NZ Mounted Rifles in WWI, of which my grandfather was a member. It was created to mark the 100th anniversary of this war and to acknowledge the sacrifices of the 'Mounteds' - lest we forget. You can read about the works here.

May 2016


Finalist in the Molly Morpeth Canaday Award 2016

My painting 'Faithful Johannes' was selected as a finalist in the long standing and well regarded Molly Morpeth Canaday Award for painting and drawing. The awards exhibition runs from 30th January to the 13th March 2016 at Te koputu a te whanga a Toi, Whakatane Library and Exhibition Centre, Kakahoroa Drive, Whakatāne NZ

January 2016


Retold – The Grimm Project exhibition at Lake House Arts Centre

The exhibition of the Grimm Project, titled 'Retold', will be on show at Lake House Arts Centre, Takapuna, Auckland, NZ from 10th to 29th November 2015. I will be giving an artist's talk at 11am on Sunday 29th November. You can find out more about this project on my blog.

November 2015


Retold – The Grimm Project exhibition

Pop it in your diaries! – the exhibition of the Grimm Project, titled 'Retold', will be on show at Toi Poneke in Wellington, NZ from 7 August to 29 August 2015. You can find out more about this project on my blog.

July 2015


Sand in the Apricot Jam

Well what a fantastic experience it has been as artist in residence at Expressions in Upper Hutt working on Sand in the Apricot Jam! The exhibition runs until the 7th of September at Expressions then will tour around New Zealand. You can read all about it on my blog about the project.

September 2014


Sand in the Apricot Jam

Coming up in July 2014, Sand in the Apricot Jam is a visual arts project I will me doing to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the start of WWI. More details >>. Or go directly to my blog on the project

March 2014

The Grimm Project

I've begun a blog on my most recent arts project I call the Grimm Project. Details on this can be found at Rebecca Holden | From the studio

September 2013


The Arts in Society conference, Budapest, 24-26 July 2013

I have the fabulous opportunity to present a paper on my practice based research at the Arts in Society conference in Budapest this June. This is a fabulous opportunity to participate in an international discussion on art. Bring it on!

June 2013