Artist Jo Dalgety: Why Do You Seek After It

  • 1 February 2023

Jo Dalgety is a landscape painter and collagist with her collection on display at Newmarket's Railway Street Gallery + Studios. Painting with layers of paper, literally and metaphorically, referencing the evolution of life as layers built upon layers in the landscape, Her works have become synonymous for the markers or memories that landscapes leave within people. Underpinning her work is the hope or belief in nature, Jo's latest collection named 'why do you seek after it' delves into the history of the Hauraki plains, read more about her latest exhibition at Railway Street Gallery + Studios below.

Have you always considered yourself an artist?

I have  always drawn and painted, but I only started referring to myself as an ‘artist’ in 2007.  decided to take the scary step of committing to my art practice and one of the first steps was to call actually call myself an artist.

How would you define your art practice?

I’m an abstract landscape artist, and I mainly use watercolour, charcoal and collage, but sometimes oil, pastel and pencil.

Photo taken by Ross Lewis.

How do you divide your time between your ‘day’ job and creating art

I try to find a balance. It’s getting much easier as I make art my priority, and options and opportunities focused on art fall into place. In 2022 I started teaching at Browne School of Art, and I feel very blessed and so fulfilled with that. It’s like giving back. I am also involed as a guide with gallery tours with Art Explore. A great way to spend the day in Auckland visiting wonderful art spaces.

Where do you find the inspiration for your work?

History and the land, and how people have lived on the land is my inspiration. I don’t include people in my paintings - Georgia O’Keeffe summed it up well for me - she never painted creatures: “I’ve always believed that I can get all that into a picture by suggestion. I mean the life that has been lived in a space.”


Tell us about the idea behind your latest exhibition ‘why do you seek after it?’

A chance remark on a course led to my delving into the history of the Hauraki Plains, going back much further than my great Grandfather's arrival, knocking my ‘prosperous land for dairy farming’ narrative off its pedestal. I’ve been reading and delving into the history and the land of the Hauraki Plains ever since.

What do you hope people will take from your show?

I’d love them to get a sense of the Hauraki Plains and what it was like before the trees were cut down and the land drained. Nothing more than that.

What advice would you give to your younger self and to young emerging artists?

Forget the voices, forget everyone else and just let go, just paint.


Jo Dalgety - why do you seek after it
Exhibition at Railway Street Gallery + Studios
8 Railway Street, Newmarket
2 - 21 February, 2023

Gallery hours Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 3pm

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