Canadian-born Auckland based artist Holly Roach took time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions and provided us with some beautiful images of her spaces.


What do you do?

I am a full-time artist, spending most days on a variety of creative endeavours. I am lucky enough to be able to mix it up with illustration, painting, fabric designs and some screen printing. Along with having an online shop selling prints and hand screen printed tea towels, I sell and exhibit paintings and also take on illustration commissions. Varied projects keep me happy.

What did you have for breakfast?

Gluten-free Vogels toast, buttered with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. Coffee.  A  small serving of international news.

What’s currently on your walls at home?

I am happy to fill my walls and space with everything and anything, that I consider creative and beautiful. I am not precious about art. A few things currently hanging around are works by myself, my brother Kevin Roach, my daughter, prints by Inaluxe, 326, an original by illustrator Sophie Watson, a lovely painting from Bali (artist unknown, to me), Christmas ornaments, a blue felted squirrel, bird’s nest and a rather dusty large tissue paper flower.

If you weren’t making art/doing what you do what would you be doing?

In all likelihood, I would have continued as a professional restaurant chef. In my alternative reality, I would have to design furniture and lamps, objects of all sorts.  Lately, when I can’t sleep, I find myself designing small, beautiful, simple, efficient, rather Scandinavian houses. Small spaces, like huts, boat sheds and tree houses.

Current obsession? 

The TV show Taskmaster. Brilliant.  Any show that has the logical rantings of comedian David Mitchell. How to deal with my household rubbish without using plastic bags. Creating the perfect paper bag reinforcement is becoming a bit of an obsession for me.

Career highlight so far?

I think my career might be inclined to an accumulation of steady pleasant events. It’s always a highlight to hear from people who are thrilled to have one of my paintings in their homes. I love to find out where my work goes. I did find out a few years back that Auckland City Council had purchased two of my works that are, or were, hanging in one of the rooms at the Town Hall, which is a nice thing. It’s not such a bad thing to think that the highlight is yet to come.

Dream project or collab or both?

Well, I would have been extremely thrilled to have been able to say my career highlight was having done some surface designs for Marimekko. I’ve always liked the idea of being part of a project that sent some object out to numerous creatives, with each person adding, changing, embellishing and continuing the visual story. Not sure how this would work in reality, but in my mind, it’s a fantastic collab.

Plans for the future?

I would love to spend some time learning a new creative skill. Ideally, combining this with travel. Printmaking in Japan, Batik in Bali, Tivaevae in the Cook Islands. Travel in general. Spending more time playing creatively, rather than working creatively.

Dream Concert… 

A small venue with John, George, Ringo and I guess Paul, Big Star and R.E.M, just to be sentimentally young for a night.


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