“I’m the happiest person I know,” says Joy Bell, the high-energy, life-loving artist whose work to date has primarily been mosaics. You can see examples of her vibrant artistry on the clock tower in Warkworth and at the Waikumete Cemetery in Glen Eden.
Producing her beautiful mosaics was a nice way to make a living but, following a final large-scale project planned for October, Joy will undergo a transformation to a textile artist. “I’ve been the artist I had to be but now it’s time to find the artist I am.”
She already has her first work in mind – six mongrel terrier heads mounted on shields. “Hopefully, it will really disturb people,” she chuckles. Soon after, she has plans for a life-size horse head.
Joy loves the combination of animals and textiles, and she is an authority on vintage teddy bears. “I was able to buy my first house in Ponsonby by selling my vintage teddy bear collection.”
But before she can become the artist she suspects she is, Joy has a self-imposed job list that must be ticked off. The unfinished but already captivating mosaic entry to the studio needs completing, and the beautiful recycled glassware conservatory has to be done as well. Last, but not least, the house has to be painted. Only then will she allow herself to set foot in the studio and start on her textile work.
The core of her house is the old church at the end of Woodcocks Rd, where it meets the railway track. The house, studio and garden are all a delight to see, and the good news for you is that Joy will be accepting visitors once all the jobs are done and the studio is christened. There will be updates on Joy’s Facebook page, so grab the opportunity to visit this unique and vivacious artist in her natural habitat.