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Sunnup Slowdowns is a series exploring what it means to prioritise connection, to relish in gathering, to seek out beauty and to inspire rest & leisure. We seek to find how each of these inspiring friends make the most of moments in our fast paced world.


 I'm a collector and as much as possible I try to use the collections of ideas in my head or sticks and leaves and flowers taken from my garden or reserve pathways in to images of many sorts. In real life terms that means I'm a full time Mama who picks flowers with my boys and sometimes works in nap times or Grandparent babysitting times to style/photograph/paint/make. We live in Whangamatā and it has been the best thing for my creative practise. 


Life doesn't feel fast paced here, living here sets the tone. Everything is 5 minutes away, we are close to the beach, the bush and the reserve on the other side of our fence. I do tend to move at a snails pace anyway so framing things as meditative helps when I wonder why I haven't got more done. 

Getting outside is a must-have in our world, where’s your favourite spot in nature and why?

In summertime our favourite place is the wharf in our little beach town. The best swimming place for little bodies and because of this there’s often friends around for them too.

Where’s the most memorable spot you’ve gathered and why?

Umupuia Marae in Maraetai. This is where Rowan and I were married. There’s so many things I could say about this place, I feel so lucky that we were welcomed here. The whole way it came to be was very serendipitous, which I feel often the best things are. Actually life with Rowan feels very serendipitous on the whole. When Rowan and I were talking about what would make a day feel special for us, we realised our most valued time is that slow time where good conversations with friends can happen. When we met with Laurie, one of the family members of the Marae he told us the proverb of Umupuia is ‘ko te kai a te rangatira he kōrero’ - the food of Chief’s is dialogue. We stayed there for two nights with friends and family eating good food and swimming.

If you had to describe a day where your time was well spent, what would it include?

It changes with the seasons, at the moment it’s going to the beach while the sun is still making its way up the sky, and having at least one meal on or by the sand. The photos that I took were on one of Rowan’s days off from Camina and it turned out to be what I would say is a day of time well spent. Down to the wharf for the morning, always with some oranges from our tree. I mixed up some sourdough flatbread dough in the morning before leaving in case of a beach dinner. The boys hung out outside eating more oranges in the afternoon while I got dinner together with greens from the garden and what we had in the fridge and spent the rest of what was left of sunlight hours back down at the wharf.

Favourite things lately while slowing down;

To Read;

Usually I’m listening to books or podcasts while doing housework or painting instead of sitting down to read, but my exception to this is reading Apartamento for small moments before the boys have decided I’ve been sitting down for too long.

To Listen;

Tetragrammaton with Rick Rubin. The first podcast I’ve found where I listen to every single episode.

To Watch;

If I decide I just don’t have it in me to paint after bedtime routines/cleaning then I’ll usually watch some stand up. Or if Rowan’s home and if we can get the kids to sleep at a relatively early hour (four year old has always been a live wire) then a movie.

To Drink;

Matcha everyday, from Matcha Matcha. In the morning and then an iced hojicha in the afternoon, It’s the best matcha I’ve ever had. And more recently trying the different wines from Camina’s thoughtful list.

To Eat;

Aspirationally, at Camina for as many nights as possible. For easy and slow evenings in summer time my favourite thing is to make easy slow cooked zucchini with basil on top of pasta with lots of parmesan and olive oil, or anything on sourdough flatbreads.


I am terrible for this because we listen to so much Turnstile and Blink-182 in our house, the boys love it LOUD. When I really need a sense of order and calmness I just put on a playlist of all Gregory Alan Isakov’s songs.