Daisy Saaiman’s probably best known for her figurative work that points the viewer towards a hint of narrative. Photo Graham Hooper

Michelle Barber talks to Daisy Saaiman about growing up in rural South Africa and why she’s using lockdowns as a way to experiment with a new floral inspiration.

Daisy Saaiman, goes by the moniker Daisyland as an artist and is co-owner with artist Ingrid Berzins of the Ostend Gallery now in Surfdale, one of the five galleries on this creative island of ours. Some of Daisy’s work is figurative, telling visual stories but the works I’ve included here are part of her new experiments using botanical subjects.

Michelle Barber:  What’s your background? 

Daisy Saaiman:  I was born on a farm outside Kroonstad in South Africa. It was a pretty quiet and rural upbringing. I remember when we first got actual power lines to our farm and that was only in 1984, and we still had to make phone calls via the operator when I left the farm by 1992! Being so rural meant that we all went to boarding school at the age of six and our holidays were mostly spent on the farm with lots of time for myself to draw and paint. 

I went on to study in Bloemfontein, where I obtained my National Diploma in Fine Arts from the Technicon of the Orange Free State. 

I left South Africa in 1997 to travel the world, and went through 28 different countries before finally settling in New Zealand in 2002 and then coming to Waiheke in 2013. By this time I had my family and a career in travel and tourism in the city. 

I finally gave it all up in 2018 to follow my dream of being a fulltime artist and opened The Ostend Gallery in Surfdale with fellow Waiheke artist Ingrid Berzins.

MB:  How long have you been making art? 

DS: I have always been making art – seriously, I have never stopped. When I travelled for years, I always had a visual diary to draw in if I wanted or needed to. And while living in New Zealand and raising my family, I would paint at night after the kids had gone to bed. I always make time for my art – it is that important to me. 

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

Subscribe and read Gulf News and Waiheke Weekender Online