• Andrea Bolima

Andrea Bolima | Perennial Presence
–by Victoria Munn, 2024

“The natural world influences much of Andrea Bolima’s work, but this is particularly pronounced in her latest series, Perennial Presence, painted during her residency at Fortland Park, Karaka. The Fortland Park studio is surrounded by thriving gardens and, with windows providing an outlook of lush greenery, Bolima had a constant view of nature. She clearly absorbed these natural surroundings, which unconsciously crept into her palette and imagery. The rich steel blue of the garden’s lake dominates Petrichorus and Karma Camellias and, in works such as No Way Rosé and Kahurangi, the compositions’ lower halves are built up with patches and strokes of colour, evoking the density of thick foliage. The upper halves of these works are astutely blended to create a hazy, airy sense of distance, and the atmospheric quality that characterises much of Bolima’s work reaches new heights.

In recent years, Bolima has established a strong reputation for her sensitivity as a colourist. Swathes of paint applied to the canvas are melded together, creating deep, seductive fields of colour. With the Perennial Presence series, Bolima embraces a broader palette, with surprising, seemingly spontaneous, strokes of mustard yellow and scarlet red intersecting the dusky blues, greens and pinks that underpin much of her work. These gestural flourishes, and thick daubs of paint enliven Bolima’s canvas. They speak to her painting process, which prioritises intuition, instinct and gesture over pre-meditation and calculation. They also assist Bolima in creating greater depth in her compositions, as if branches or flowers are emerging from dense bush. But Bolimas’s work occupies a liminal space between representation and abstraction: while, perhaps guided by the works’ titles, the viewer might discern particular figurative forms in her canvases, what Bolima is most interested in is encompassing the feeling – the sensations, in particular – of being surrounded by nature. Indeed, the large scale of numerous works in the Perennial Presence series envelops the viewer in fields of colour, whereas the smaller-scale works, such as Botanic Attacks and Birds of Paintings, with their cropped compositions, read more like windows into Bolima’s colour worlds.

Bolima’s are paintings to live with. Much as, with evolving light, weather and seasons, the bush changes over time, so too do Bolima’s paintings. They are constantly revealing, with the passage of time, new colours, shapes and feelings”.

Andrea Bolima was born in the Philippines and moved to New Zealand in 2007. Bolima graduated with a first class Masters of Visual Art from AUT in 2019 and was a nominee for the Glaister Ennor Graduate Art Award the same year. Recent exhibitions include, States of Memory & Perception at St. Paul Street Gallery(2019), Prelude (2020) at Gow Langsford Gallery - which showcased works “by exceptional emerging artists, offering insight into current thinking in contemporary visual arts at a grassroots level”, The Colour Before Colour at Foenander Galleries (2020), Three emerging female painters at Jhana Millers Gallery (2020), as well as presentation’s at Aotearoa Art Fair in 2021 & 2022.

Gallery Hours

  • Tues-Fri: 10am-6pm
  • Sat: 10am-4pm


  • 455 Mount Eden Road
  • Mount Eden
  • Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland