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Artwork information 

A brief look into the thoughts and processes behind some of my work

A limitless imagination

Humankind's desire to create regardless of race, gender, age and time is exquisitely beautiful. From Tolkien’s middle earth, to a gardener planting flowers, to a child pretending to be a dragon, it’s mark can be found ingrained within each and every one of us. Where does this desire come from? What is at the heart of it? And if it is one of the few things that all humans have in common, can it be drawn on to bring us together?

In 2021 my work is focusing on our ability to appreciate beauty, to imagine and to create. It looks at these traits, explores how deep they go and how they can be used to bring about a world of peace and equality. If we can create thousands of worlds from our imagination, can we not use this ability to shape one world into a better place?

My first works will look at where creativity starts, within a single person, the finite shell that houses a mind that is wider and deeper than oceans.  To be inspired, to think, to dream, and to form it into something physical are the first, small steps into the strange, wild and endless possibilities of imagination.

Dreaming with a limitless imagination 




Thinking with a limitless imagination 




Writing with a limitless imagination 



An equal place

Contemporary New Zealand is progressing in its general view of acceptance and equality. However, there is still a distance to go. As a bisexual woman I have encountered a greater level of judgement and disapproval when being in an openly lesbian relationship than in a traditionally straight relationship. This is a representation of New Zealand’s approach to marginalized groups across the board and while judgement, racism, sexism and homophobia have lessened a great deal, an ingrained prejudice against these communities still remains. During the planning stages of these works which were to be exhibited, I was approached and told that I should re-think exhibiting a work representing a lesbian relationship. My response was to explain that being told I should not enter a piece depicting a homosexual relationship was the very reason I needed to. It was not explicit; it was not promiscuous and if it had been a man and a woman there would have been no objection. It is beliefs like this which prove that conventions need to be challenged in New Zealand, not in anger or accusation but challenged to provide more awareness, education and acceptance. 



Dike is the Greek goddess of Justice. She is the spirit of moral order and fair judgement, upholding the rights established by customs, conventions, and law. She oversees human justice rather than the divine, focusing on the fairness between people. The scales of libra are pictured on the necklace and are represented in the constellation above. 

This painting was created as I searched for a mythological figure who represented equality. While I could not find a one who fully embodied equality, I felt Dike who symbolized 'fairness' encompassed some of its values. 

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Exploration into cubism

In 2020 I was greatly inspired by the work of Tamara de Lempicka  (1898 -1980) who is known for her Art Deco styled paintings. Lempicka incorporates elements of cubism in her works which first introduced me to the practice. I proceeded to work on a series of paintings which explored this style. 

HAYLEY KERNOT - Lady in Blue Dress1.jpg
HAYLEY- Lady in Green Hat .jpg

The stories behind a face

The common thread that influences all my creative work is ‘stories’. Reading, telling and re-telling tales has always been an integral part of my life, from my love of reading and making up fantasy worlds when I was young, to illustrating children’s books, to my continuing passion for mythology, history and legends.


Portraits are the main subject for my artwork because I am drawn to faces. For me, a person’s face is like the cover of a book, concealing years’ worth of stories all intricately entwined to weave the fabric of who they are. In every human there are countless strands, love, hope, pain, fear, friendship, and a face is the doorway for the greatest and most complex tale of all.


The Rise of WOmen

The Rise of Women was painted to celebrate the 125th anniversary of women's suffrage in New Zealand



Artwork description 

Since the beginning of time, people have told stories - in words, paint and gesture. Creating, dreaming, retelling and remembering is at the heart of every culture - and is the basis of who we are as human beings.

Stories are as numerous as individuals, and yet this artwork pays tribute to threads of commonality that tie together our beautiful, diverse heritage. It seeks to acknowledge differences, whilst depicting underlying themes and emotions that hold stories together, including love, fear, loyalty and betrayal. 

Legends are unique and varied but if you look closer, there is the same heart beneath them all, the heart that makes us human. In 2020 we are moving forward to tell new stories about the world and about ourselves; about the worlds we want to create. This artwork is about looking to the past, the future, and most of all, our shared passion and unity, regardless of age, gender, religion or race.

Small copy.jpg

First series of oil paintings

Inspired by the style of Rita Angus

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