Loretta Reynolds

Loretta Reynolds is a New Zealand born Cook Islander. Loretta grew up in Mt Roskill, Auckland, New Zealand. She attended Mt Roskill Intermediate and Grammar Schools, where she was strongly influenced by art tutors Keith Patterson and Colin DeLuca. Since that time, Loretta has spent over 30 years in the commercial art industry as a designer and graphic artist.

In 2000 she returned to Rarotonga drawing inspiration from a culture reborn. Loretta graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in 2008 and completed her Masters Degree in Art and Design from AUT, Auckland University in 2010. Loretta continues to live and work in Rarotonga with her husband and their cats, Koka and Buster.

Guardian Tangaroa's

My practice as an artist has been informed and influenced by an earlier engagement with graphic design, calligraphy and sign writing.

This earlier practice has influenced the ideas, meanings and practices generated within my work. For example, the use of a traditional mahl stick and lettering skills can create cleaner, sharper lines than conventional methods of painting Cook Islands traditional art.


The application of these lines have allowed my work to engage in a painted technique that looks more like etchings or drawings than is normally associated with traditional Cook Islands’ art. These techniques have also given me the opportunity to relate my work more with the heavily etched characteristics of traditional carving of the Cook Islands.

The idea of connecting my previous graphic work with traditional art forms plays an important part of my practice as it provides me with a way to create a personal response and creative perspective on how traditional Rarotonga patterns can be re-constructed in contemporary form.

God sticks 2



Media: Acrylics on canvas and board.

Subjects: Historic and contemporary Cook Islands icons, designs and patterns.

Where: The Art Studio, Arorangi and Beachcomber Contemporary Art, Avarua.