Areta Wilkinson was born in Kaitaia and is one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary jewellers. Her art practice combines metalsmithing, applied arts and customary Māori methods.
After completing a Diploma in Design at Unitec in 1991, Wilkinson began practising and exhibiting. During the 1990s, she found support for her making through the Fingers Collective and by cofounding the shared studio Workshop6. In 2014, she gained her PhD in Fine Arts from Massey University’s Te Pūtahi-a-Toi School of Māori Knowledge.
Over the past 30 years, Wilkinson’s approach has recalled the importance of ancestral forms, adornment-making traditions, Māori cultural beliefs and the place of memory within adornment. It is a practice that challenges art instiutions to shift the way they engage with taonga and understand collection objects.