My name is Joe Kemp, married to Sherie and we have three sons. We have lived in Lake Rotoma in the Bay of Plenty for the last fifteen years. I have been into art since I can remember only finding my sculpting ability eight years ago. My tribal connections are Ngai Tahu, Ngapuhi and Te Arawa (Ngati Makino).
I am self-taught and find it’s a great privelage to be able to create with these mediums and art forms. I enjoy carving human form, especially females. I feel doing human form connects me with my ancestral history which brings a whole new meaning and purpose to the finished art work. I use wood as my main medium and enjoy the secrets and surprises that our native timbers have with them. I sense a connection with Tane Mahuta (the life force of the tree) as I’m working with the wood, so it is quite a special feeling. I also carve a variety of stone, where again there is a connection with Papatuanuku (Earth Mother).
I look to bring out the Wairua (essence) in each piece, starting from where the material originated and using any special features and grains in the stone and wood. Thanks for taking the time to stop and look at my work.