It’s taken a while for Robyn Litchfield to see herself as a ‘business woman’, and to sign up to the New Zealand Business Women’s Network in London. It’s also taken some time for the London-based painter to build her profile as a professional artist. Her long fascination with the ancient sunken forests of her homeland led in 2022 to a significant commercial commission: a permanent installation of a 16-metre interior mural in the Frank Gehry-designed London office of Meta on Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross. After 15 years exploring elements of NZ’s colonial history and its backcountry geographies through her painting, Robyn’s recent solo exhibition “Let Time Be Still” (2023) demonstrated the maturing of her distinctive style.This body of work, featuring twelve new works depicting Kahikatea swamp forests, is named after words from Kiwi poet James K. Baxter.
Everyone who comes to the UK to work has a different story, one shaped by circumstance as well as professional choices. The pandemic pushed Hannah Sweetman, sports nutritionist and lifestyle coach, into developing a thriving online business offering personalised diet planning and nutrition advice. ‘Hannah Sweetman Nutrition’ today allows Hannah to combine her established life in the UK with extended periods back home in New Zealand. Living and working across these lines would not have seemed feasible when Hannah, 34, made the choice to leave Auckland more than a decade ago.
Getting through the depths of a northern hemisphere winter - whether it’s your first one away from home or your tenth - can be tough.
Seeing friends and family enjoy summer and the festive season back in New Zealand can be a reminder of how far away they are and for many, it brings on a bout of homesickness.
But winter in London or elsewhere in the UK can be a magical time with new experiences to be had and the opportunity to create new traditions. We asked a few of our wonderful volunteers how they make the most of the colder seasons, to hopefully inspire you to do the same.
For more than twenty years, the UK has been Fiona Watkins' home as well as the main source of inspiration for her high-end interior design studio in Cheshire. Fiona draws on quintessentially British influences to create calm and elegant modern spaces, which seamlessly integrate period elements with the local landscape and the existing building substance. Fiona’s love of Britain’s heritage is matched by her passion for European design culture and her down-to-earth Kiwi business acumen. Her warm, straightforward approach with clients cuts through any Old World stuffiness, although she doesn’t believe this is out of the ordinary for a Kiwi. “As a nation of people, we’re just dead-friendly and approachable,” she says.