Artist in Residence - Em Wafer

14 Apr 2023

If you’re visiting Wellington Airport over the school holidays you may notice our Artist in Residence – Em Wafer.

Em is a full-time New Zealand artist and muralist known for her surreal microcosmic worlds. She exhibits locally and internationally and has collectors worldwide.

Em will be painting an original acrylic on canvas artwork in the terminal from the 12 – 19th April. Once completed it will be displayed at Wellington Airport before being auctioned on Trade Me with all proceeds going to the Āhuru Mōwai Trust, who support families with extra and special needs children in Wellington.

The Āhuru Mōwai Trust were winners of the 2022 People’s Choice Award in the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards. They work to provide spaces and places for families to find support, take a breath and exhale.

They also advocate for and partner with local businesses and community facilities to make spaces more accessible and tailored to sensory needs. Their vision is to provide options for families to make their world bigger, not smaller.

It’s a cause close to Em’s heart, who is frequently inspired by moments with her son James who is on the autism spectrum and brings beautifully unique perspective shifts through a neurodivergent lens.

“Āhuru Mōwai Trust has been a big part of the journey for my son James and for us. The events, the support network and the genuine understanding and care shown. The spaces provided (such as Awesome Bounce) have been so key, as being part of an inclusive community is especially important when walking this road.”

Trade me auction

More information on Āhuru Mōwai Trust

Āhuru Mōwai Trust - 2022 Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards

More information on Em Wafer

Em Wafer is a full-time New Zealand artist and muralist. Unique enough to strike a chord with our own stories yet universal enough to leave space for individual reflections, Em's work addresses the wordless subconscious. She is frequently inspired by moments with her son James.

“The totally different way he seems to see everything, his questions, his unusual order of priorities - the way he is doesn’t always make it easy for him to function in the world or for us to teach him. But he’s awesome, and hilarious, and I admire his raw honesty.

“In a way his lack of filter and not caring what others think of him is a strength. His unique ways of communicating and showing love and the sentences he comes out with constantly surprise.

“Every child and adult on the spectrum is different but I know so many people will resonate with one or all these characteristics. It’s all so broad and diverse.

“The main message we want to bring across is this: don’t look away, look closer and be curious. There’s so much more going on inside every one of us than what is obvious on the surface, but even more so for our children and adults on the autism spectrum - things can be the opposite of what they seem. Be curious, be open, and ask - never assume.”

Em Wafer at Wellington Airport