Artist Mereana

Marianne Slade

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Paintings by Mereana (Marianne Slade)


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Pohutu geyser Rotorua NZKia ora / hello

Much of the inspiration for my paintings stems from my Mâori and NZ culture - the physical aspects as well as the spiritual. View of Mt Tarawera

I grew up in the thermal city of Rotorua, located in the North Island of New Zealand.

Lake Okareka Rotorua NZ Lake Rotorua NZSurrounded by lush native bush, scenic lakes and wonderous thermal areas, I was lucky to have spent many happy times exploring and enjoying these areas with my family.

Being immersed in Mâori culture was a natural part of growing up - events, ceremonies, music, arts, and language.

Many of my paintings include Mâori designs and patterns symbolising life, growth, unity, friendship, or other elements.


I have not only painted these symbols as taonga (treasures) in their own right but have often incorporated them into backgrounds, borders sky, hills, land or other objects.

Hidden conflict - painting by Mereana Slade

The painting on the left is called 'Hidden Conflict' and represents internal turmoil or confusion that no-one else can see.

Marianne SladeAs well as art I love music, puzzles and a whole range of creative projects.

Education and teaching is another passion.

Today I'm still creating, learning and experimenting - and many of those activities incorporate internet and e-learning technologies for education.

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John and Monica NichollsMy mother, Monica Nicholls, was born in 1931 in Waitahanui near Taupo, with connections to the Tuwharetoa and Tuhourangi Mâori tribes.

She was a fluent Mâori speaker, and often called me by my Mâori name 'Mereana' which I now use to sign all my paintings.

Mum was very creative and resourceful. I learned a lot from her.

My Dad, John Nicholls, was a forestry ecologist and over the years he passed on much knowledge of the native plants and birds to myself and my seven brothers and sisters.
He learnt the Mâori language when he met mum, and later became a teacher of it.

Click here to download my dad's Mâori Language grammar notes.

Dad has been acclaimed for his work with forestry conservation and received a queen's medal for his service.Today a grant has been set up in his honour for botanical or plant ecology research.

Click here to read an article about dad's work in the NZ Journal of Forestry 2010.

Now check out my gallery to see my painting style.