“I don’t feel like art has ever been a ‘path’ for me, it’s more of a gut feel, and a passion or need to create,” says artist Arie Hellendoorn. Born in The Netherlands, the New Zealand-based artist studied Fine Art at Massey University in Wellington and has been working consistently to exhibit in group and solo shows over the past decade. Recent work has been acquired by the James Wallace Trust in Auckland and the Wellington City Council Collection. Arie’s first solo Australian exhibition was in 2013 and his current show is at Sullivan+Strumpf until June 13.

Which five words best describe you? Creative, hard-working, passionate, good-natured and loyal.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I developed an independent curatorial program which supported my own practice as well as others in vacant spaces, which over the years led to being invited to participate in artist run galleries.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? There are no shortcuts.

What’s your proudest career achievement? My proudest career achievement was to begin showing art with Sullivan+Strumpf. It sounds a bit cheesy but it’s true. I was pretty excited to begin showing internationally and with such a great gallery. 

What’s been your best decision? Within my work? Switching from oil paint to acrylics.

Who inspires you? Neo Rauch, the German painter, inspires me. I think he is one of the most interesting narrative painters currently practicing.

What are you passionate about? My family and friends, nature and, of course, art. 

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Ali Farka Toure, a folk musician, from Mali. Sadly he is no longer alive.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? My partner and I have a baby due in six weeks, and I’m pretty excited about it.

What are you reading? As I am going to be a father in six weeks, most of my reading is currently focused on pregnancy and fatherhood.

images courtesy of arie hellendoorn and sullivan+strumpf