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On Giving: Jade Hurst and the profound impact of the arts

In this new series, we're shining a light on our generous giving community – inviting our Kotahi whānau across the country to tell us how and why they give to the arts.

Tell us a bit about you?
I’m Jade Hurst, an Interior Designer with my own wellness interiors studio - Good_Space. My projects place human + environmental health at the core, it’s where science + art collide; a perfect fusion for my curious creativity! I’m originally a small town girl hailing from the Bay of Islands, but Auckland is my home; along with my husband Ben and 3 children.

Why do you give to the arts? And in what ways?
I have a deep respect for creativity. The arts need a platform, shared experiences, stories to be told. I previously owned a marketing agency where collaborating with creatives of all disciplines was a daily occurrence. We were the conduit between brands and creatives, dreaming up ideas then unlocking funds and channels to promote them. Business and pleasure in the truest sense. I’m so grateful to have these connections, it continues to be a truly rewarding exchange.

Our family are Kotahi members, we were introduced via friends; Victoria and Hamish Edgar. It wasn’t hard to be swept up along with them and their passion for the arts.

Over the years we’ve also supported a small group of musicians and actors on their various endeavours.

What was the first creative experience that turned the light on for you?
It’s difficult to pinpoint the first moment, but rather many individuals experiences that converged. I started out as the Culture Marketing Manager for Red Bull, responsible for all art/music/fashion/film projects. It gave me such a unbridled connection with creativity, the people, and the business that underpins it all. It’s where I forged relationships that continue to have a profound impact on my personal and creative growth.

Onto my agency days, and to Garth Badger’s photography exhibition with contortionist Lucia Carbines; an ‘exploring movement and contortion’. I went early to support him, curiosity led to captivation; I found my most treasured piece and immediately secured it as my own. It was Garth’s favourite also, totally unique to the other images. There’s something so beautifully dark and enigmatic about this image. Whilst the others are held poses, this is an action shot. Lucia is caught in a precise moment, on the top side on her toes; such an impossible pose for us mere humans. But it’s the look in her eyes, so distant; like she’s not inside her incredible body in that moment.

One of my most favourite collaborations was with Andrew J Steel and Samsung. He’s art personified, exploring all corners creativity - both digitally and IRL. This project saw him create live illustrations on a Galaxy phone, projecting them full scale across Silo 6 at Auckland’s waterfront.

What do the arts give you?
In short – happiness + fulfilment. I’m a creative myself, but not with canvas and paint (believe me I’ve tried), rather with people and space. Good_Space allows me room for playful exploration, resulting in immersive and sensory projects.

There’s a spectrum of our individual understanding, but the arts give to us all. Scandinavian furniture design company Muuto validated this when they collaborated with Google, Reddymade Architecture and Johns Hopkins University. Together they created an installation for the Milan Design Fair that explored ‘neuroaesthetics’. Proving that aesthetic experiences, art and interior design actually impact our biology and wellbeing. I’ve never been more influenced by a series of work than this, it’s why I’m inspired to do the work that I do.


1. Jade Hurst in her Willow Park project in the Waitaki Valley

2. Garth Badger’s ‘Exploration of Movement and Contortion’ with Lucia Carbines

3. Andrew J Steel live projection illustrations at Silo 6 on Auckland’s waterfront

4. Nick Rapley’s 'Sea Sculptures at Sunset’ shot from his surfboard in Dunedin

5. Good_Space interior images at Willow Park