Sheyne Tuffery is a Wellington based multi-media visual artist: whose primary mediums are painting, animation and printmaking. His prints and paintings often envisage Polynesia as a futuristic urban utopia; with the Samoan fale as the symbolic archetype for skyscrapers, apartment housing and rocket ships (vaka). These works reflect Sheyne’s research into his Samoan heritage and symbolism, his travel wanderlust and his taste for big overseas cities. They also reveal ongoing influences, the world of fantasy, comics, and cartoons which add a sense of immediacy and humour to his subject matter.
Sheyne became aware of Manukau’s bird population and local bird lore while living there in 2005 . Fascinated by New Zealand’s geological history as a singular landmass (a vaka) and natural sanctuary for a vast array of bird species, Sheyne draws in his own associations to Samoa (-meaning sacred bird) and to cars as symbols of migration-urban vaka. These contemplations have been the subject of recent works and animations and are part of a trajectory which involves Sheyne continuing to refine his printmaking techniques as well as working more diversely and collaboratively with other artists. Everything I see, feel and hear, has an impact on my compositions, especially architecture and music. I want the audience to hear the images as well as see them. The lines that I carve, are for the dynamic of my work, these come from the veins of banana leaves and the strapping in Polynesian fale’s (houses). The shimmer in this dynamic, trap’s light in a way to form a unique frequency. This frequency is me.