Donna North

Donna North – Artist

Donna North was born in 1953 New Plymouth. She attended Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design majoring in photography. Pursuing this as her career Donna worked as a freelance photographer for several years.

Although invested in photography Donna had a notion to paint. Using tools such as a palette knife and steel wool, the application of paint soon became her new found interest.

Her techniques are evident in ‘Ancestry’ where she uses steel wool to work into the surface of the painting. This painting depicts a feather cloak which is used in many cultures as either a gift of respect, or an identification of rank. She also uses this technique in her sought-after ‘Cross works,’ using steel wool and a pallet knife to drag out the paint, creating a feathered edge.

In her diverse body of works the ‘photographer’ is still ubiquitous. Whether a sparse landscape, an abstract form or flowers represented by colourful pixelated dabs of paint; its as if Donna is viewing the canvas behind the camera. Blurred out of focus moments, selective view points and harsh angles are all particular to the photographic process.

Large in scale and simplistic, her paintings are attentive from afar. However in drawing close we are exposed to the complexity that lies behind each layer. Undiscernable forms, splotches of colour – a landscape or still life now turns into an optical experience.


Examples of Donna’s artwork can be viewed at Mobile Art Gallery, 23 Edwin Street, Mt Eden, Auckland.

Artwork by donna north