Within the Wellington film industry there are hundreds of artists working collectively to crete some of the finest films made in the world. Unscripted' aims to profile these brilliant minds to present their talent as individuals, in mediums ranging from painting, illustration, jewelery, textiles, furniture, lighting, sculpture, short films, animation and many more. Over 100 artists are involved and include key artists as well as emerging ones. The aim of 'unscripted' is to help sustain technicians working in a very contract based industry, and ensure that more brilliant films and art come out of New Zealand.

Human Dynamo Workshop's art director - Sue Dorrington is an exhibiting artist. Showing for the first time her recent painting titled 'Southerly', acrylic on canvas, 1.4m x .7m. A landscape that includes the wind that arrives in Wellington from Antatica. Beauty and industry collide.

Artist Bio for Sue Dorrington


I’ve been part of Human Dynamo Workshop for 10 - 11 years now. We service art department needs for film productions. I trained in Visual Communication Design at Massy School of Design. Even back then in the early 1980’s - 3D workshop was a favorite class of mine. But I first worked as an Art Director in various  Advertising Agencies, where I did a lot of illustrative rendering. Which lead into my working as a Paint Finisher on Props and Models at Human Dynamo Workshop. Over the last ten years I’ve developed my sculpting techniques and that’s now a large part of the model making work I am involved with. I’ve also done a lot of marine specimens for Museums and Aquariums. Most job’s are collaborative so I’m working along side mould makers and fabricators. They may view me as a prima donna, but someones got to do it. Sometimes if we’re busy, I’m art directing other sculptors and painters. My life and business partner is Rob Uivel. We share the running of the company. Which for me involves business planning, plus accounting and website administration. I enjoy aspects of that, but really I’m most comfortable thinking visually. My mantra is ‘never stop looking’. I stole that from Grace Coddington of Vogue. You do have to give yourself time to see. Listening to music helps me too.

I guess one day I’d really love to make or direct a movie. Maybe a quirky short movie aimed at kids. But I don’t know if I’ve really got the drive to make it happen. Probably because it takes so much energy just to run our business and family. We have nearly finished raising four kids, grandchildren will be next.

It’s hard to make the time to do personal work. I try and give myself one studio day a week, with a pretty poor success rate. I put in a few evenings, but not weekends. Or you start something in a down time, then have to drop it when film work picks up. Creating artwork has a momentum to it. Quentin Blake ( who has a wonderfully loose expressive style) says he doesn’t like to move physical far from the work at hand, until it’s done. If he needs to rest he does so in a special armchair in his studio. I’d love to work like that.

Any artist feeds off their surroundings and experiences. So my film work and personal work influences are interlinked. I once worked on a big 3D animated puppet display exported to Singapore. It required studying Chinese painting techniques. That job was years ago but stylistically that Asian influence is still there in my personal work.

Since I was 11 I knew I wanted to be in a creative studio environment, surrounded with other creative people. I don’t think I could do solitary studio practice day after day. I’ve been exploring foreshore and seascapes for a long time now. The slow vibration of tides and interplay of time and environment. Loosely flowing on and developing as a series of ideas and mediums. The root driver is to gift the beholder with a familiar feeling or state of mind. So it helps to know the beholder and their history. That’s why I mostly paint for friends and family. 

Posted: Tue 30 Aug 2011