Tim Christie is a Wellington-based creative. For the last 10 years he has been self-employed working as a graphic designer, creative director, entrepreneur and artist. He often collaborates and has been involved in design projects throughout the country.
Tim has helped develop some of New Zealand's most iconic brands including The Interislander, New Zealand Wine, Radio NZ and the celebrated new identity for the City of Invercargill. His work has been featured in New Zealand and Australian design awards and published internationally.
More recently Tim has turned his attention to Art. MONOMOKO was first exhibited at the 2017 NZ Art Show where he had immediate success, selling out on the opening night. He was subsequently invited to participate in the annual NZSO Auction, donating a new work to the black-tie event that raised over $105,000. Eariler this year he entered 'Co-existence' the international art exhibition celebrating tolerance and diversity. His entry was one of two local pieces selected to join the exhibition as part of its ongoing world tour.
Tim recently travelled to Manchester where his work was selected for a prestigious exhibition hosted by Washington Green Fine Art Group. The competition attracted 1000+ entries from around the world, from which 20 finalists were selected. Tim won the popular vote and 'People's Choice Award'. Washington Green is one of the largest fine art groups in the world and have 36 galleries across the UK. They represent international artists including Ronnie Wood, Stan Lee, Bob Dylan, Raphael Mazzucco and Billy Connolly.
MONOMOKO was conceived on a trip overseas which he attributes to a change of scene and some clear headspace.
"The idea came about when I imagined the dynamic effect that might emerge from combining the precision of geometric abstraction with biological symmetry. I was curious to explore the juxtaposition between a very controlled technical aesthetic and facial features, with the inherent symmetry of the latter providing a shared language between these two worlds. Essentially I had a vision that looked pretty cool in my mind and despite being on holiday I was compelled to jump on to my Mac and start playing around with it.
What emerged initially was incredibly striking and I began crafting the explorations into finished pieces. MONOMOKO became the perfect name to represent this body of work combining the mostly ‘monochromatic’ colouring of the designs with the graphic symmetry of traditional Māori ‘moko’. The rhythm of the word also felt particularly fitting for the patterned feel of the artwork."
Many of my pieces have a quirky idea or story to tell. Some are locally orientated and explore cultural themes. Others are just plain fun and a bit whimsical. All artwork is digitally composed. Finished works include limited edition digital prints, large illuminated light-boxes and painted pieces.
20 finalists were selected from 1000+ entries and featured in Castle Fine Art’s Summer Exhibition in August 2018. The month-long exhibition took place in their Manchester gallery in the heart of the city’s luxury shopping district. I was the only New Zealander in the exhibition and achieved the most votes of any artist from gallery visitors and online viewers winning the People's Choice Award. I am currently in discussion with the gallery group about future opportunities and representation.
Previous winners are now selling alongside the likes of Ronnie Wood, Bob Dylan, Stan Lee, Raphael Mazzucco and Billy Connolly. Castle Fine Art is one of the largest fine art groups in the world with 36 galleries throughout the UK.
Earlier this year I submitted a piece to COEXISTENCE, an international outdoor exhibition that ran in tandem with the New Zealand International Arts Festival in Wellington. My piece was one of two selected to join the travelling show hosted by Museum on the Seam; a socio-political contemporary art museum based in Israel. My piece, entitled ‘Same Diff’, uses the geometry of MONOMOKO to draw similarities and connectedness between ethnically diverse peoples.
The first public forum for MONOMOKO was at the 2017 New Zealand Art Show in Wellington. I was stunned to learn that all my pieces sold on the opening night. MONOMOKO was the most prolific seller of all the ‘general exhibitors’.
In 2018 I exhibited again with similar success selling 20 pieces including two large light-boxes. Commissions have resulted from the show and an opportunity to exhibit at the Hong Kong Art Fair in 2019.
Every year the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra holds a large fund raising event in Auckland. Following success at the 2017 Art Show I was invited to submit a piece of work for the auction. I created a new work with a musical narrative especially for the event contributing to the $105,000 raised for a new hand-crafted harp.
Ora Gallery in Wellington is currently displaying a number of my pieces and have chosen to feature me in their window to coincide with ‘WOW’. This three week event draws huge numbers to Wellington and retailers enjoy a massive boost in shop visitors and sales. Ora gallery features leading New Zealand artists from around the country.