Helen Mason   Right Side

Helen Mason Right Side

Helen Mason

Helen Mason was the resident matriarch of the Waiohiki Creative Arts Village. Whilst Helen knew some of the Waiohiki residents from her long involvement in clay work with the likes of Barry Brickell and Bay Riddell and from her time in arts collectives when she was based at Tokomaru Bay with Ngoi Pewhairangi in the 1970‟s, most of those at the creative arts village first met Helen Mason through involvement with the Pukeora Estate Arts Festival in 2005. Helen Mason and her friends from Porangahau had set up in an adjacent room to show their art and the Waiohiki team talked to Helen and shared ideas and visions for the Creative Arts Village.
Helen had been living in, and working out of Waipukurau – and seemed to share an interest and affinity with the plans and ideas. The Waiohiki Community Charitable Trust (WCCT) had already been considering renovation and restoration of „cottage one‟, the previous factory manager‟s house, to accommodate working artists in residence at the village. Helen approached the trustees about the possibility of coming to live and work at Waiohiki and with this in mind local architect Graham Weaver was commissioned to convert the cottage into a communal residence. To honour Helen the building was named Helen Mason House and it was formally opened by Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen on Easter Sunday 16 April 2006
As previously noted Helen has a long and distinguished history of involvement with various arts and craft communities around Aotearoa. She has worked and lived in Wairarapa, East Coast, Porongahau, Wellington and Waipukurau as well as in Barry Brickell‟s „Driving Creek Railway‟ in the Coromandel.
Helen helped found the Wellington Society of Potters, wrote for the New Zealand Listener and was editor of New Zealand Potter magazine for its first 9 years. Besides raising a family Helen has helped and mentored many young artists and craftspeople and exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. In 1995 Helen was awarded a New Zealand 0rder of Merit (M.N.Z.M.) for her services to pottery.
Helen at Pukeora
Friends family and dignitaries gather for HM House opening Easter 2006