About Angus

“I am stoked to return to New Zealand. I love to see, feel the landscapes, the beaches, be closer to nature, experience the laid back attitude that is being a Kiwi. That’s especially after living in the hustle and concrete of Barcelona, stimulating as it has been for ten years.

I left New Zealand by default. I fell in love in Spain and now after ten years, with my love Irina, I’m returning to live. It’s a lifestyle choice. Going fishing, having a barbie on the beach…these experiences are amazing. All that classic stuff that all kiwis love. I missed it. We’d always known we would come home and now we are.”

What inspires you in your subjects?

I always have lots of ideas going round in my head… I imagine images of things I see. I can translate that into an idea, and then I can express that composition in a painting.

I love science and I love to explore the mystery of the world,  all those unexplained things. It takes me to a spiritual, a metaphysical place which I am always exploring in my work.

What’s the process of how you paint your images?

I start off with generic – trees for example as it resonates for me to paint something of nature… sometimes an urban landscape. Then I am painting emotion to tell the story of the image.… an empty space might portray a longing;  trees in the horizon with water… maybe that’s me looking far off to the distance… It’s a personal narrative. A process of working out the observation, taking in the details, my own conversation with my soul.

What is your technique?

Oil on canvas… some of it is print making… the works are extremely layered… maybe 20 layers. When I consider colour I am exploring how I can get for example the different variations  of green… or yellow… there will be many layers of  paint to get exactly what I want… and there are more colours underneath even then…sometimes I might even partially remove some layers. I can keep working for months on a painting to balance the colours to express the image / idea I am after.

How do you find motivation?

There’s a lot to learn about yourself and your own processes and habits. I can get stuck on a work… I guess I am stubborn and I sometimes try and fix something I’m not happy with, maybe I should stop and start again… but it’s not my way. That is the scientist and mystic in me: figuring out the ins and outs and working through problems… somewhere is the matrix of art and science.

Inspiration comes in random places… and for me the best way to get it, is to do the work… it’s a discipline… observing and presenting the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Quote from a review of the “Find The Rabbit Exhibition (June 2017) at The Artist’s Room, Dunedin:

…Perhaps most telling of all the paintings is an image of the artist’s jacket hanging in a deserted wood. Like Frida Kahlo’s famous image of her dress hanging in the New York breeze, the artist seems to be saying “I am here watching, but my heart is elsewhere”.
– Otago Daily Times


1976 Born in Masterton, New Zealand on 28 March.
1982 Collis moved to Kutarere, New Zealand.
1987-92 Collis studied at St Peters, Cambridge, New Zealand.
1993 Elam School of Fine Arts, New Zealand.
1994-97 Dunedin Polytechnic, Fine Arts Department, New Zealand.
1997 Degree in Fine arts
2000 Set up CITE Studios and Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.
2002 First solo show at CITE.
2014 5 August – Accepted as finalist and included in the Travelling Show for the 2014 Wallace Awards.