SiLKA Simple Living Kiwi Artist

About SiLKA – Simple Living Kiwi Artist

My wife and I and our sheep and chickens live in a small, simple, in fact, recycled home, on a few acres, on a hill in rural NW Auckland, New Zealand. It’s called Kaukapakapa hill. The little settlement of Kaukapakapa in the valley has a river running through it and the meadows regularly flood hence the Māori name means ‘to swim with much splashing’. We have large west-facing windows and overlook farmland and the Southern end of the mighty Kaipara harbour (Kaipara means food fern) and South Head. Then there's 1,000 km of the Tasman Sea, next stop is probably the Australian state of Victoria, but I haven’t checked.

The sunsets are stunning. Surrounding this text are some images of our place and where we hang out.

We're cut off from the rest of the world and we like it that way in the "Winterless North" of our South Pacific volcanic island that's prone to earthquakes. In fact, we are officially (Google maps) 45 minutes from Auckland CBD, so we're in easy reach of what passes for a city down here. It's more like a big town with some tall buildings.

We grow quite a lot of food and end up giving most of it to our ridiculously healthy sheep - John, Mary, Chris, Cath, and Stuart (“The woollies”). We also eat from our gardens every day. We've also been conditioned into feeding several hundred birds, including our two fiercely independent chickens Beaky and Gertie. It doesn't pay to step outside of my studio without food for everyone. Oh, we don’t eat meat, so everything that shares our lives with us is safe from us. 

I’m originally from Hampshire in England and my wife Susan (a talented silversmith and jewellery maker) is from Galway, Ireland.

So, why SiLKA?

I have a few 'strings to my bow' and I wanted to separate my painting from them. I've had instagram and facebook pages using simple living kiwi for a while but since people have begun to buy and display my work, a website has become necessary.

SiLKA is short for Simple Living Kiwi obviously, and that was borrowed from "simple living and high thinking" which comes from the Vedic culture. It has its roots in the Sanskrit varnashrama-dharma which is often confused with the Hindu Caste system, but it means living as we are meant to be. I try to understand what that is and live creatively. I am also a musician, therapist, coach, and adviser. 

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