Rieko Woodford-Robinson

Photograph by Brian Culy

Rieko Woodford-Robinson

Rieko is best known for her detailed portraits of anthropomorphic creatures, usually animals or well-loved toys. A self-taught artist and illustrator, she was born in Japan and has lived in Wellington since 1999. Her first exhibition was held in 2010, followed by several solo shows and group exhibitions in Wellington and Auckland. Every one of her solo shows has sold out.

Rieko’s work is influenced by Pop Surrealism and the Old Masters. Aesthetic elements of Japanese pop culture such as kawaii (cute) also appear in her paintings, finely balanced with melancholy and knowing humour. Rieko’s subjects seem to be a little reluctant to reveal their stories, and often inhabit fairytale settings that evoke childhood fables. Her paintings provide a small but intriguing window into the lives of her characters.

Rieko is represented by Black Door Gallery in Auckland and her limited-edition giclée prints are available exclusively from Eyeball Kicks Gallery in Wellington.


  • 2022

    “Stillness” Black Door Gallery, Auckland, 12 October - 2 November

  • 2020

    “Heroes” Black Door Gallery, Auckland, 8 - 28 October

  • 2018

    “Aotearoa” Warwick Henderson Gallery, Auckland, 2 - 20 October

  • 2016

    “Portrait Animalia” Warwick Henderson Gallery, Auckland, 4 - 22 October
    “Creatures” Group show, Roar Gallery, Wellington, 5 - 31 May

  • 2015

    “Animalia” Eyeball Kicks Gallery, Wellington, 12 - 24 June
    “Pencil Pop!” Eyeball Kicks Gallery, Wellington, 2 - 16 October

  • 2014

    “Deep in the Woods” Expression Galley, Upper Hutt, 3 May - 6 July
    “Grimm Exhibition” Group show, Kina NZ Design + Artspace, New Plymouth, 7 March – 1 April

  • 2013

    “Hunters - a way of life” Arthur’s Cafe, Wellington, 12 November - 8 December
    “Circus” Group show, Roar Gallery, Wellington, 7 - 3 February

  • 2012

    “The Wolf and the Fox”, Thistle Hall Gallery, Wellington, 4 - 9 December
    “Pirates” Group show, Roar Gallery, Wellington, 3 May - 2 June
    “Portrait Collection”, Deluxe Café, Wellington, 23 April - 5 May, 2012

  • 2011

    “Curious Nature”, Thistle Hall Gallery, Wellington, 28 November - 4 December

  • 2010

    “Imaginary Creatures” Deluxe Café, Wellington