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This Is Me - Sally Blyth

Updated: Nov 10, 2018

Sally is a multi-talented artist. This is a small part of her life that I have witnessed, with a video interview
Sally is a multi-talented artist. This is a small part of her life that I have witnessed, with a video interview

Sally is an artist, in the broadest sense. She lives and breathes creativity. Some of it mad, like the insane World of Wearable Arts costumes she conjures up; some of it playful, like the masks she crafts out of paper, old brooches & discarded remnants of cloth and bric-a-brac; some of it serene, like the canvases she floods with light; but all of it, well, creative…

You may have seen her on tv recently. She was a challenger on Mastermind NZ, choosing David Bowie as her specialist subject. Brave? I would certainly hesitate (aka run away) before putting myself out there in such an intellectually challenging environment, but Sally did it on a whim! Read what Verve magazine said about that… So why not explore another aspect of life? This says so much about Sally. She likes to explore boundaries & push herself to do new & interesting things. She is writing a cookbook; not just an ordinary cookbook, mind you. This will be a lifestyle cookbook designed to encourage you to have the confidence to make the most of whatever you have in your fridge & enhance your kitchen culture. She also transcribes & edits lengthy & technical documentation - "to keep my brain alive". She writes for Destinations magazine which combines her love of travel & writing. She is a puzzle & crossword fanatic, always challenging her brain to wrap itself around new teasers. Not content with that to satisfy her love of the written word, she has her own blog - "Two Words" - where she expounds on a diverse range of subjects, always interesting reads.

Returning to New Zealand after her lengthy OE, she took courses in both calligraphy & decoupage that stirred her innovative juices. These evolved into glass painting, painting, masks & more. During this period Sally spent a large chunk of time facilitating organisational change & the challenges she faced generating innovation fuelled her personal growth which helped propel her towards her creative dream. I was first introduced to Sally through her mask making. She fell in love with Venetian masks & after several years of experimentation alongside someone local who could provide the bases she quickly built a small business providing the appropriate accoutrements for masquerade balls. At the time, I was experimenting with body art photography & wanted to extend the look. Collaborating with Sally produced some memorable images - see the image gallery. She also created a whole new range of iPatches for me when I wanted to do something for the Rangitoto College Fashion Show, & raise some money for the Blind Foundation at the same time. After her years working for them, it was a cause close to her heart.

It is her art for WOW that has the most visible impact, though. Every year she finds inspiration from the strangest places & combined with items she has in her Aladdin's cave of a workshop or happens upon while travelling, she crafts stunning & beautiful pieces of art to wear. If you have never experienced WOW I urge you to go, it is a visual extravaganza & something you will experience nowhere else in the world. I am lucky to have been privy to Sally's creations before they were released on stage as I have been photographing them from the start & some of them can be seen in the image gallery.

Sally is a born facilitator and becomes most animated when engaged in conversation about teaching kids the art of creative thought, or mentoring people in clarifying & progressing their business and individual values & vision. With a fairly unique perspective on life, art & everything (to paraphrase Douglas Adams), Sally never disappoints by peddling the standard view on anything. She doesn't regard herself as an 'artist', I think primarily because she has never been formally trained in any traditional art medium and because she works in so many different mediums. She regards herself as a creator, but as is so often the case, we ourselves are blind to how others see us. She may regard herself as a horse racing fanatic (she owns a horse & Trackside is constantly on in the background when she is creating) but Sally is an artist, in the broadest sense.

Sally Blyth Interview

The video is Sally talking about her life & some of the key moments.

Sally Blyth Image Gallery

Auckland - June 2016

(& work from the last 5 years)

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