“How on earth did I get here?” the thought struck me one day. You see, in August this year it will be four years since I moved from Mexico to New Zealand. I used to live in Wellington until about ten months ago, when I moved to Pukeatua. If you had asked me, I would never have imagined myself being where I am now. The whole idea would’ve sounded completely alien to me. I am a Mexican living in a small farming community called Pukeatua and I am an artist. What is an artist from the planet Mexico doing far away in the countryside of New Zealand? I’m still trying to figure that out myself. All I can say is that even though some of the decisions I’ve taken in these past few years have been both terrifying and challenging, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Three years ago I got rid of all of my belongings except for those that fitted inside my suitcase and took a one-way flight to New Zealand. Then, similarly, a year ago I decided to leave the security of the waged life and started a self-funded art sabbatical. And ten months ago, I made the bold move to move to the countryside with my partner Nolan. None of these choices were easy, but I got a lot out of them. It’s been nearly four years full of adventures, lots of learning, new experiences, heaps of love, and wonderful people.
These events inspired me to start a new photographic series about life in Pukeatua. I thought about making a sort of caricature of myself and my art undertakings, which I’m sure can appear slightly alien and a bit peculiar to some. The images you see above are a snippet of what I have so far. I’ve been calling this, the Spacegirl project. It’s been fun and interesting to work on this series. It has been reminding me that no matter where I am, art is what I want to do. It has also been making me think about how much I feel accepted and supported, even if not always understood. Of course, I owe much of this support and acceptance to the people around me who have never questioned my projects. You know who you are and I hope that you also know that your kindness and love is much appreciated and reciprocated. So there you are, this is only one of several projects I have been concocting during my art sabbatical. If you would like to follow this story and the ones yet to come you’ll find me as They call me Ninu on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can also subscribe to my newsletter and receive the odd email about the current state of things at my little corner in Pukeatua, New Zealand.