Maria O’Toole is a Wellington based 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 abstracted 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 explores the interplay between embodied process and environmental concerns.

Contemporary Drawing Exhibitions, Awards & Research

Upstream Art Trail, 2017. “Sound Sculpture – Consonance” . Curator – Gabby O’Conner. Central Park, Brooklyn, Wellington.

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.

Not Standing Still, 2018. “How loud is too loud? – Experiment” . Group exhibition at Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin. Curator Raewyn Martyn. (

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.

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.


Workshops will be available for those wishing to experiment with creating their own visual language for environmental concerns.