Diane Connal - Jeweller & painter
Diane lives and works in Waikanae Beach creating custom-made jewellery from silver, copper and gold. Her lifelong interest in jewellery making led her to study at the Sydney College of the Arts in the 1980s.www.dianeconnal.com
Her BraveArt work was created to represent the sunny, positive attitude of her model, Amber Bellamore. The light she sees every day on the Kapiti Coast is reflected in the colours of sunrise and sunset painted onto the work. She adorned this with a piece of jewellery created from precious and found objects.
She gathers both rural and urban found objects to combine with these precious metals including: rubber, paper, stone, glass, watch parts and bone. She creates one-off wedding and engagement rings as well as pendants, necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
There is also a range of ceramic jewellery, and a tribute series entitled In Loving Memory, creating heirloom pieces from a precious plate belonging to her late mother.
No stranger to the courage required during illness, Diane's solo exhibition Cherish ’in 2010 was a thank you to those who helped Diane through treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. “I admire this team and understand that it can be a hard road for them” she says.
Amber Bellamore - CanSurvive
Amber lives on the Kapiti Coast in Waikanae and works for HMC Kapiti in Paraparaumu.
For six years she has regularly travelled into Wellington twice a week to train in the boat with the CanSurvive Dragon Boat team.
She loves the competition and support of the other women on the team.
“I participate because I love being on the boat with this amazing group of women” explains Amber.
There is always a challenge, “you never know what Wellington harbour is going to turn on” she says. “But my fear of water is now gone, and the training hard keeps me fit.”
Amber fought breast cancer in 1995 at the age of 39.
She had right side mastectomy surgery followed by six months of chemotherapy. Her reconstruction surgery was three years later.
She says surviving breast cancer has taught her to enjoy every day and to never take anything for granted, but most importantly – "laugh a lot!”