We are excited to introduce one of our latest Guest Artists: Lizzie Snow - better known in the art world as 'fortyonehundred'. Recently, we had a chat with Lizzie to give you a sneak-peak into her life, her art and the inspirations behind her incredible work.
Tell us a bit about yourself, Lizzie!
My name is Lizzie Snow. I am a contemporary visual artist working under my artist name ‘fortyonehundred’.
I am a New Zealander, but I was born in Canada. My whole family are New Zealanders and I’ve spent my entire life in NZ (apart from those first 6 weeks!). I moved back to Canada mid last year, aged 22, for my next career step, where I have opened my own art gallery in Tofino, BC. I fly back to NZ often for commissioned work, so I now spend about 50/50 time in the two countries.
Wellington is where my art turned into more-than-just-a-hobby. I am so proud to be a New Zealander, and this important part of my identity is how I formed the name ‘fortyonehundred’. 41 is the latitude coordinate of Wellington, 100 is a whole, complete, circular number linking back to the themes in my artwork. In Wellington I studied my Master of Fine Arts degree and a Bachelor of Design degree both from Victoria University.
I am stoked to have collaborated with brands such as Lululemon, Converse, Peugeot, Whittaker’s, Garage Project, AllBirds. I am thrilled to now be working with The Paper Rain Project. I share and sell my work through my gallery, website and social media - where I am honoured to have over 120,000 people following my art. It’s amazing connecting with so many people, I feel grateful and inspired everyday.Tell us a bit about your unique practice.
I have always been mesmerized by patterns. Absorbing what surrounds me, then exploring these experiences through ink and paint. My work has two distinct elements, the fully structured mandala works, and then the free flowing pieces. Although they can seem like opposites, they really are two parts of the same whole. These wild and spiralling patterns are all throughout our world. In my work I either leave them untamed or structure them into a contemporary exploration of the mandala through repetition, scaling, order and circularity.
The mandala is a fascinating concept, art form, metaphor, tool and artifact of the human experience. It is essentially a circular, intricate orb of organized chaos. Mandala literally means ‘circle’ and it represents the universe. It is present all throughout our natural environment – think of snowflakes, flowers, galaxies and every atom that exists. The mandala is also a social phenomenon and it transcends culture. Examples include the Tibetan Buddhist Mandala, Christian stained-glass windows, Pacific island and Maori designs, Celtic knots, Persian tiling, European mosaic works, Australian Aboriginal patterns, the Aztec Calendar, North American dream catchers and many other manifestations of this global design. I am fascinating in creating patterns inspired by those in my natural surroundings. We are all interconnected, and this is the driving force behind my creative practice.
How did you get involved in The Paper Rain Project?
I’ve known about The Paper Rain Project for a few years now. I used to share an art studio in Wellington with a group of artists, a few of which were paintings PRP boards. About a year ago I was asked to do a live-painting weekend for The Paper Rain Project which I wasn’t available for. Then, one of the times this year when I was back in New Zealand, we reconnected and were finally able to collaborate!
How many boards have you painted to date (inc WIPS)?
I’ve painted one board so far for The Paper Rain Project. “Unity” - white acrylic paint on Macrocarpa. Unity was painted in both the North and South islands of New Zealand while I travelled across the country. In the artwork, the top and bottom parts are asymmetrical, but share the same common theme. The north area of the board is smaller than the south, just as the islands are. I also spent most time painting in the south island so this section is also larger because of this. I enjoyed figuring out all these different links when planning what this artwork would be. The Unity board is about sharing the same common existence no matter the differences, we are all on this planet together. We’ve also created a series of laser-cut art boards featuring 3 of my favourite mandalas - they turned out so beautifully!
What is your favourite daily ritual?
A morning consisting of yoga, walking the beaches with my dog George, drinking coffee, drawing all day, then ending with an evening sunset adventure. It’s the best! I used to live in cities and would escape to Kohimarama, Whangamata or Lyall Bay to do this. So now that I live at the beach I feel lucky to be able to do this every day. Where I live in Canada is like a mixture between Raglan and Queenstown! It’s a fabulous beach-resort-bubble.
Tell us something you’d have liked to be able to tell your twenty year old self.
Well… I'm 23 years old, so I feel like I just need to continue working hard. I am very passionate and driven with my artwork and career. I can only hope that I am making, and keep making, good decisions that lead me to further carve out this path.
If you could see a positive environmental impact in NZ, what would it be?
More trickle-down-effect responsibility. As a small example, I wish at a government level there would be an even bigger ban on food-related disposable plastics. The manufacturers would find more alternatives, then the wholesalers and retailers would stock those replacements, and the consumer wouldn’t have a choice. The changes we’re already making as consumers is great, but on a large scale it still doesn’t feel like enough. I’m sure it’s not as simple as that, but it would be awesome. The climate change we are experiencing is an emergency.
What does it mean to you to be a Paper Rain guest artist?
I am increasingly stunned by the environmental crisis we are experiencing, and so I am directing my work to try and address these issues where I can. Working with a social enterprise like The Paper Rain Project, on their sustainably sourced boards is another good step in this direction. The boards themselves are so beautiful and well crafted. It’s been a wonderful and special experience creating these board artworks. I also love being involved with NZ projects especially as I move further out into the world, I want to always stay true and connected to my roots..
What are you listening to while you work?
My constants are Bob Marley, Bon Iver and Six60. Plus a few other NZ musicians and other calm, chill vibes to keep me concentrated on my artwork. I alternate between that and videos/podcasts about art theory, art business, entrepreneurship, and then animal/nature documentaries!!
To see all of fortyonehundred & The Paper Rain Project's work together, click through.