M. O’Toole, How loud is too loud? No.4, 2020

Maria O’Toole is based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. She is an Artist and Senior Drawing Tutor at Toi Rauwhārangi Massey College of Creative Arts. Her drawing practice engages with a contemporary attitude in drawing that explores resilience, risk and empathy through environmental projects. She creates lyrically abstract drawings influenced by sensory experiences of space and observations of the rhythms within them. She then translates her fragmented thoughts and experiences along with collected scientific information into visual maps and scores. Her PhD research explored the interplay between embodied process and environmental concerns.

M O'Toole: Slowbirds, mixed media, 2017
M O’Toole, Slowbirds, Mixed Media, 2016, Finalist – Parkin Prize 2017

Contemporary Drawing Exhibitions, Awards & Research

Drawn Chorus Exhibition, 2020. This PhD research is concerned with the development of embodied drawing processes responsive to the detrimental impact of human-produced sound on humpback whales. Finished works resulting from this research were shown at The Engine Room, College of Creative Arts – Toi Rauwharangi, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. September 2020.

Parkin Drawing Prize, 2020. “Tukorehe Wetland – sound score” , Chosen as finalist and received a Merit Award. Exhibited at the Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, Wellington. This work is research for Te Waituhi ā Nuku: Drawing Ecologies https://parkinprize.nz/2020-finalist

Te Waituhi ā Nuku: Drawing Ecologies The Drawing Open Research Collaborative, founded by Emma Febvre Richards (Massey University) and Monique Jansen (Auckland University of Technology) in 2016, have been working alongside the Deep South Climate Change National Science Challenge research since 2017. Phase 2 Deep South National Science Challenge research Risk Management Planning for Climate Change Impacts on Māori Coastal Ecosystems and Economies is led by Professors Huhana Smith and Murray Patterson. This Māori-led climate change project is also supported by Māori researchers Aroha Spinks and Moira Poutama. https://www.drawingopen.com/te-waituhi-a-nuku-drawing-ecologies

Not Standing Still, 2018. “How loud is too loud? – Experiment” . Group exhibition at Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin. Curator Raewyn Martyn. (http://blueoyster.org.nz/assets/Online-Publications/Not-Standing-Still-Publication-DIGITAL.pdf

Parkin Drawing Prize, 2017. “Drawn Chorus and Slow birds”. Two scores were chosen as finalists and exhibited at the Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, Wellington. https://parkinprize.nz/finalists%20announced%20for%202017

Upstream Art Trail, 2017. “Sound Sculpture – Consonance” . Curator – Gabby O’Conner. Central Park, Brooklyn, Wellington. https://www.upstream.org.nz/art-trail/artists-2017/


“Tukorehe Wetland – sound score” , Chosen as a finalist and received a Merit Award, Parkin Prize, 2020. Exhibited at the Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, Wellington.