Fine Art and Good Food…..pleasures for all the senses

We decorated the beautiful white walls of the Bistro at the Amisfield Winery with 20 vibrant art works of mine at the beginning of this week, ….and I must say it looks fabulous.

The paintings look big in my small studio, but seem quite small in a big space like this. But since I often work at several paintings at the same time they seem to complement each other rather well and can be grouped together to form a diptych, triptych or quadriptych to fill a wall of any size:                   

It gave me a great sense of satisfaction seeing my works go up on the walls and take on a life of their own with the professional hanging skills of Pauline and Piedro from Art Bay Gallery



I hope this will give you an idea of what my work can look like in the environment of great architecture. And if you can’t make it there for a glass of fine wine and some good food, than this at least will give you an idea of what you could be enjoying at home.

Art Exhibition at AMISFIELD WINERY

The ‘Come Back’ of Nina Conradi:) After a period of taking a low profile in the art world and dedicating myself to exploring the great outdoors of New Zealand, upgrading skills and travel overseas…. while accumulating a few injuries, I realised that working as an artist is a far safer way to be and that I need the creative outlet for my mental balance.

I spent the last few months working in my little studio at the Wanaka Art Center getting together a large body of new works. You can view these art works under the ‘Recent Works’ tab on my website. Several of these pieces will feature in the Exhibition called:

“Transformation – Old and New”, which runs at the AMISFIELD WINERY, 10 Lake Hayes Road, Queenstown from the 16th of January till the 27th of February.

Plenty of time to pick a nice day to visit this beautiful venue –, enjoy a glass of fine wine and some good food while admiring the great art works display.

And even better, they are for sale….. you could be enjoying them all year round in the comfort of your own home:)


Nina’s  ‘Architecture Series’ is part of a continual search for beauty in things given a higher aesthetic value the older they are and the more they have been used. In the present society of throw away culture, where things don’t get repaired anymore, but replaced once they show minor insufficiencies, things don’t often get a chance anymore to age and acquire character. Anything has a story to tell, the story of their life, encounters, etc.. . Nina has a passion for old houses, has renovated many and loves discovering layer upon layer of history.

Nina’s approach is very intuitive, leaving room for things to emerge from a more distant space. She translates physical sensations into color and texture and draws from her experiences and the ever-changing colors and shapes of her environment as a great source of inspiration. Layer upon layer the painting slowly takes on a life of its own. The observer is encouraged to see rather than look, feel rather than think.

 Nina Conradi  is a contemporary abstract artist living and working in Wanaka, New Zealand. Born in Munich in 1972, Nina was raised in Germany, spend several summers doing art school residences abroad during high school years  and later studied Architecture and Art at the ‘Beaux Arts’ Academy in Paris, France. She spent her last semester of University in Cuba and then wrote her final thesis about a remote area in Fiordland, New Zealand, creating a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, a synergy of land, art and architecture, which earned her an honours degree. After a few years of travelling, mainly in Asia, Nina settled in New Zealand in 1998. She first lived in a remote place on the west coast, away from civilisation and tuning into the wonders of the natural world, than finally based herself in the beautiful sunny central Otago area. She has been living, working, creating and exhibiting locally and overseas.

Transformation Art

I just worked on some paintings which I started a few years ago. Most of my paintings grow with time and with me. It’s a layering of experiences, emotions and impressions. Very seldom I finish a painting first time round and if so I’m suspicious and find it hard to resist to overwork it. It’s like they need to gain depth of character by going through a few phases of tranformations. Often this process can take years.

This painting called ‘Approaching Front’, as in approaching weather, used to be called ‘One on One’ and told a different story than, which now features in the background and forms part of the current painting. This piece has been with me for years, and only now it reached its state of maturity. I’m really happy with it now….finally!








The left painting used to be called ‘Lepidoptera’, greek word for butterfly, but had to be renamed ‘This is a Butterfly’ as some people’s fantasies were greater than mine:) After my travels to Patagonia on my bike, which was named ‘Mariposa’, spanish for Butterfly, I reworked this painting, and it now is called ‘ Bike named “Mariposa”‘



‘Garden of Perception’ became ‘Biking changes Perception’




‘Turbidity of Matter’ became ‘Biking produces Clarity’




‘Lunar Craters’ became ‘Lunar Bike’


Portraits become Butterflies: 


A series of ‘Portraits’ transformes into Butterflies. The Portraits posted here are not necessarily the Butterfly species depicted here, as I don’t have pictures of all the Portraits and some Butterflies are still in the process of transformation.






A Christmas Dance

I’m going through a phase of de-cluttering and simplifying my life. At the height of the Christmas consumerism period I experience the biggest joy when I create some new empty space. I keep walking past the newly created empty space and feel the space and freedom. Very liberating!

Over the years I’ve accumulated a small art collection, of other artists, friends work and my own. I keep at least one work from each major phase in my painting life. This is one of my earliest works, watercolor on wallpaper. I had joined an evening painting class during my last years a high school. We had a great teacher, he taught about the fun and play in painting and he used to belief one can paint with anything, be it jam and mustard.

When I first came to New Zealand I worked mainly with oil stick paints on board. Initially I worked on the flat deck of an old truck on the farm, later in a studio at the Queenstown art center. This little painting features from my early days in New Zealand and breaking away from the ‘old world experience’ time of my life. The body and mind – always needing to work and evolve together – disintegrate and redefine itself.



This little painting is from a period much later in my artist career when I experimented with candle wax and gold leaf. The body and mind is much more fluid in his movement after years of vigorous  practice of the different skills in life. Orange now dominates the scene.

Last night I went to a party with some nice music and great dancing going on. Great timing for a dance: Solstice and Christmas are only a few days away!

Invite yourself and friends to a special Christmas Dance…… give some time and space!




Architect – Artist – Athlete: what gets you moving and what motivates

This art work of a 8 year old in the children’s sculpture section of the ‘Art in a Garden’ exhibition in the Flaxmere Gardens, NZ appealed to me on an artistic, architectural and athletic level. Since I cycled solo 3000km through Patagonia last summer, I have a close attachment to any bike parts and got to know every link of my bike chain quite well. Working in the architect’s field and renovating houses I got to appreciate diggers and as an artist I always was drawn to scrap yards making art works out of old metal bits.

There was another sculpture in the children’s section which moved me. It’s a representation of the now destroyed Christchurch Cathedral. The child’s family used to go there for Christmas and he even put a tree inside….I guess he is concerned about what will happen this Christmas….



Body Prints

Thought I better mention that I did other things than paintings too. These are a series of prints I did a while ago, using linocut and wall paper. I did a few courses in print making over the years and really like it, but don’t have a printing press myself and therefore haven’t had the opportunity to really explore it in its depth. I do sometimes use a selftought hand printing technique in my paintings. I would love to explore monoprinting though, as that would suit my style and character most.

These prints are inspired by the human body, a theme all artists explore at some stage in their career:

Back 1

View from Back 1

View from Back 2 

View from Back 3

View from Back 4…Radiating

View from Back 5….. Radiating

View from Front


Granny’s Lumpensammlung

Granny's Lumpen

My Gandma is a very special and amazing Lady. She’s about to turn 90 and still rules the house, even though she has a hard time walking around. She lived through the war and that formed her for the rest of her life. Nothing ever gets thrown out if still a smidgen of life left in it. Her house hasn’t changed since I can remember. Most things I played with as a kid are still there for my nieces and nephews to play with. When I stay at her place I sleep in the children’s room on the original three piece mattress. In the drawers are the baby clothes we all wore. A lego castle, we all played with, sits on top of the wardrobe, and a fabric bunny sits on the chair….he’s one of my earlier memories. When I enter my grandma’s house I feel like coming home, a feeling which I deeply cherish. It’s a sense of familiarity and belonging and there is an inherent beauty in it.

My granny loves order and cleanness. She will clean her bathroom every day and scrub the shower after every use, no matter what time of the night. She also has a very thorough way of dealing with her washing. Friday nights are dedicated to it……other people would spend it in the pub or with a glass of wine, but she will spend all night preparing the washing, mending, ironing, etc…often till the next morning. Needless to say she is a night person, while I am off with the fairys long before!!

You needed to know a little about her to understand the beauty of her ‘Lumpensammlung’ as my mum and her sister call it. A Lumpen is a rag, and my granny has a beautiful collection of them. They start of as towels or dishcloth or anything else, and than eventually become a cleaning rag. These will be mended, often till there is nothing of the original fabric left. Often they get stitched together like patchwork or doubled up for another lifespan. The family tried to rid her of this beautiful collection and gave her modern throw away rags, but they just got kept in the cupboard for the next generation, neatly folded away. She just can’t justify to throw away a perfectly good rag. I think it may give her a sense of satisfaction and being, a sense of worth. I guess you could call my grandmother a visionary of the sustainability movement which is getting very popular at the moment.

Anyway, when I saw her using these beautiful pieces of art for cleaning, I asked her if I could have them, as they are amazing pieces of art in their inherent beauty. They just talk by themselves. This is the story of the ‘Lumpensammlung’, which now features in my paintings about houses and homes. They tell a common story.


My studio

I’ve got a studio at the Wanaka Art Centre…and I’m on a roll. I haven’t had a studio since my Queenstown days and found it hard to work from home. It’s nice having an ‘office’ to go to: I nearly feel normal:) I’m not quite managing a 9 to 5 day yet, but I try to get down there most of the days.