Billie has recently moved back to Hawke's Bay after living in Auckland for three years. She and her partner Matt Beamish, (the pair both attended Elam School of Fine Arts) left the big city to come and enjoy the quieter Hawke's Bay lifestyle. They've spent the last six months working with Beagle's Bees learning the art of beekeeping. She and Matt would love to have their own hives, "Napier Hill is perfect with lots of flowers year round", says Billie.
Coming home has been good for Billie. "I always feel more inspired at home," she says. Her parent's, Leanne and Brian Culy, are both incredible artists and are a huge inspiration for Billie, they are both her biggest fans and critics. "I know I can always get an honest critique from Mum", she laughs. "Which is great, I missed that".
At school, photography was Billie's favourite subject, and her dad, Brian, was her main inspiration - "he's so clever, and really helpful and supportive". Billie's current range of botanical photographic prints are exquisite. She's always loved to arrange flowers, and she loves still life. Each print captures the essence of the place where the flowers came from. Everything is thought out very carefully, from the arrangement to the background, right down to the vessel. Some of the vessels Billie makes herself, including the concrete planter and beeswax bowl. She would love to make more of her own vessels and is thinking of taking pottery lessons in the future.
|Flowers in Wax|
As well as photography and maybe pottery, Billie is interested in a wide range of creative avenues, including painting and print making. She finds inspiration in many places, and is a big fan of painters, Saskia Leek and Helen Frankenthaler. Wolfgang Tillmans is her most favourite photographer - his still life works are amazing; and she's recently discovered the work of Camillie Henrot who turns flower arrangements into sculptural works.
With Billie's talent and enthusiasm the future is wide open for her. She plans to branch out with some of her still life ideas, playing with different objects. Painting is something she is really keen to get back to, and perhaps travel. "I'd love to travel overseas and take floral photographs that represent each area", Billie says. "Or maybe go and rough it on Great Barrier island for a while". Whatever she does I know she'll do well. If you love her prints as much as I do, you can purchase them from Homebase Collections, and if you think they look good on screen, wait til you see them in real life!