As an artist, I’m driven to explore and communicate ideas.

Living in New Zealand, but not being a Māori New Zealander, has led me on a journey to discover what is my cultural heritage. I have a huge regard  and respect for Māori art and culture and am trying to navigate a commentary on this though my own art.

My 'Making Their Mark' series developed out of a strong curiosity about what my cultural identity is as a New Zealander looking back on early New Zealand; driven by my fascination with the extraordinary artistic creativity of the Māori and how that reveals in our people. Māori early history was passed down by word of mouth and by decoration of what they made (whether it be a whare, a huia box or a gourd). Both Māori and Pakeha history and interaction has shaped us. 

The challenge was how to interpret and reflect this in my own art. 

I see a flow in the patterning, with shapes and textures that are derived from nature and spiritual forces. I see proud people with stories in their eyes - I see objects that have meaning to us – influences and images that remind us of our heritage. With this in mind, I have made my own marks and textures that project out of my works. 

As to materials, from early on in my artistic journey, I have used gold leaf and developed a modern application of it on oak board. The grain of the oak, the sheen of the leaf and staining with acrylic paint in layers all give an effect that changes with light and viewing angles.

I’ve shaped these elements to produce a range of works that I’m proud of and that are seen and enjoyed around the world – an amalgam and celebration of early and modern New Zealand, and a blend of Māori and Pakeha.

Jenny Mehrtens is an Arrowtown based artist, primarily a painter, she has had several group and solo exhibitions and her work can be found in private collections worldwide. 

Jenny was born and raised in Dunedin and her natural creative talent and love of visual arts was nurtured by her family (some of whom were artists) and the Dunedin community. She had a successful clothing design business based in Dunedin in the 1980s under the labels “Jenny Haggitt Originals” and “Verve”. 

Jenny studied painting at Inverlochy Art School in Wellington and now lives near Arrowtown where she has a private studio on the outskirts of this small historic town, and paints full time. 


May 2017 - group exhibition, Autumn Festival Art Exhibition at Lakes district Museum

October 2016 - Group exhibition. New Zealand: Kiwi conciousness. Imago Mundi. Treviso Italy

2016 - Paintings for sale in Francis Patterson, 41 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown.

December 2015 - Drawing Life, group exhibition at the Lakes Museum in Arrowtown

October 2015 - Finalist in the Art Gold Awards, Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery, Alexandra

2015 - MAKING THEIR MARK paintings for sale at Artbay, Queenstown

28 November 2014 - Life Ed Art Exhibition, Wellington, group exhibition

October 2014 - A Palette of Poetry, Dunedin Community Gallery, Group exhibition

April - May 2014 - Locations Art Exhibition, Lakes District Museum, Arrowtown

December 2013-2014 - Diamond Showroom - 15 Earl St, Queenstown

Linocuts and other works on display at Provisions, Dudley's Cottage and Decode, Queenstown.

Artbay Gallery - 32 Rees St, Queenstown

December 2012 - display of linocuts in Decode and The Spire Hotel Queenstown, Provisions cafe and Laneway in Arrowtown

October-November 2012 - solo exhibition at Amisfield Winery, Queenstown with Artbay

October 2012 - exhibited at Artbourne, Wellesley College, Wellington.

April 2012 - entry in Art2wear show, autumn Festival, Arrowtown.

April 2012 - Arrowtown Autumn Festival Art show at Lakes Museum Gallery.

December 2011 - January 2012 - Otago Colour Exhibition with Christine Hill at Lakes District Museum and Gallery in Arrowtown, NZ

August 2011 - solo exhibition at Peak Club, Coronet Peak, Queenstown NZ of SKIER SERIES - 2011

June 2011 - Wellington Life Education Trust Exhibition of NZ Contemporary Art

Oct 2010 – Artbourne Wellington

2008 – 2010 commissioned works

Nov 2007 - group exhibition at Inverlochy Art School

Jan 2007 - group exhibition at Inverlochy Art School

Nov 2006 - group exhibition at Inverlochy Art School