Canterbury, South Island
Serena McWilliam was born in England into a family well versed in the domestic arts of knitting, sewing and embroidery.
On moving to New Zealand in 1980 her own stitching was primarily dressmaking, smocking and simple embroidery for her two young daughters, but increasingly there was an interest in exploring art and thread as a means of expression.
Starting with various Correspondence School, adult education and Guild courses, Serena progressed to completing a degree in Craft Design in 2002, with art history, printmaking and textiles being particular areas of interest.
Nine years in her studio in the Christchurch Arts Centre, a collection of beautiful 19th century Gothic Revival buildings set in the heart of the city, came to an abrupt end with the loss of these buildings, and the studio, to the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.
Over the years much of her work has been based around discovering the natural environment of New Zealand and finding her own sense of place.
Serena has regularly participated in juried and group exhibitions around New Zealand, including CoCA, Lopdell House and Arts in Oxford. Her work is featured in “Stitch – Contemporary New Zealand Textile Artists” by Ann Packer, published by Random House.
Her work is in many overseas and local collections, including that of the Christchurch Arts Centre.
Serena lives in Christchurch, New Zealand and now works in a home studio surrounded by trees and birdsong.