Rhondda Greig was born in Invercargill, New Zealand. She grew up in different parts of the country according to where her father’s work took the family. These included Christchurch, Okahukura, Taumarunui and Auckland.
She studied at the Auckland School of Architecture before committing herself to a career as a practising artist.
She has held solo exhibitions regularly in New Zealand, and in Japan as invited solo exhibitor in Tokyo, Yokohama and Kyoto. Her works are held in public and private collections throughout New Zealand and in the United Kingdom, and in private collections in the United States, France, Australia and Japan and the UK.
Greig’s early recognised abilities to produce acutely observed, detailed figurative drawings has evolved into an oeuvre of painting in a boldly caligraphic style. She employs a rich colour palette to convey her ideas and combined with an unerring sense of design she has been able to work with great confidence in abstraction and emotive gesture.
Greig's early painting work explored the expressive and technical dimensions of fluid watercolour paint in an entirely original way in New Zealand and enabled the development of superbly controlled vivid images.
Later, the scale changed to large acrylic works on board. The theme of one series of paintings, railways as steel timetables through our social history and personal lives, is worked through luminous layers of paint and audacious calligraphic gestures.
More recently, there has been a change to large-scale oils on canvas where exhibitions have included - in Scotland - Here, There, a look at the expatriate experience, and Nga Taonga: A response to Māori treasures in Marischal Museum at the University of Aberdeen.
Greig's main focus on painting led to an interest in other media like glass and wood, often in combination with the painted image. In her latest work, she has used large sheets of perspex as a painting surface opening up new dimensions in the use of light, calligraphy and abstraction.
Significant examples of Greig’s work are a number of major public artworks. These include the wood relief mural and fabric installation at the Wellington District Police Headquarters, banners for the Ministry of Women's Affairs and Television New Zealand, and for other government departments and private collections, and, in 1997, the wall painting of Matarawa Railway Station.
In 2000, Greig was commissioned by the Landmarks Trust of New Zealand to create a monument to New Zealand women which took the form of a multi-media installation of oil painted canvas, etched glass and book design in the Cathedral of St Paul, Wellington. In 2001, she undertook a commission for the Wairarapa Cultural Trust to create a coloured glass-text installation for the entrance foyer in the newly built Aratoi, the Wairarapa arts and history museum. This work is currently on loan to Masterton Hospital where it is installed in the main entrance foyer.
She was a short-listed contender, with architect Mark Burry, to design the New Zealand Memorial in Hyde Park, London.
Other commissioned artwork includes the creation of a previous Oscar winner Anna Paquin’s costume and accessories for the 1995 Academy Awards.
She has recently completed a wall-size mural on perspex, Tohutohu, a permanent showpiece artwork of the new Carterton Events Centre in the Wairarapa.
Rhondda Greig is a published poet and writer of children’s books. Her books include Eavesdropping with Angels, the children’s classic Matarawa Cats, Matarawa House and most recently Noa’s Calf.
In 2005-6 she was Artist-in-Residence at Marischal College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. An outcome of the residency was a major exhibition, Nga Taonga: A response to Māori treasures in Marischal Museum.
Greig's base is in the Wairarapa in the lower North Island of New Zealand Aotearoa.