Florist, DJ and jewellery creator Juliet Moore talks about living in Wellington, flowers, bones and music.
Did you grow up in Wellington?
We lived in Samoa when I was a kid. Both my dad and mum worked there. Then we spent a couple of years out in Makara. We moved into town when I was 11.
How was your childhood?
It was amazing. In Makara we had a horse we shared with the people down the road. We would build tree huts and things. There was so much freedom. We could go out and just had to be home by dark. I went to Makara School. It was a little model school, so there were only 60 kids in the whole school. I then moved to a city school, where it was very white and middle class and most of the kids already had their friends sorted. That was probably one of the hardest parts of moving from Makara into town.
What do you think is the best part of Wellington?
There are so many good things. Pretty much wherever you are you can see the sea. You have this amazing access to things. It has a great, vibrant inner-city culture. Sometimes it can get too small, but anywhere can. I like going out to Makara Beach. It's my time-out place. I live near the Town Belt and that's great. I like going walking out there and finding new tracks. I love the randomness of Wellington.
Were you always creative?
I always made things. I grew up with a mother who was a sewer and my grandmother was old school, sewing, knitting, preserving. So I always tried to make things and always wanted to do something creative.
Did you go straight into floristry after school?
No. I worked for a company that arranged internships for international students to get work experience over here. Then I got offered a job at Slow Boat Records, where I still work, and then I also started working at Flowers Manuela. I was offered an apprenticeship. I started out there just cutting.
What attracted you to floristry?
Manuela is the most amazing woman and I get to make beautiful things. Every day I have a different favourite flower and I love the change of season that's heralded by something new coming in. I learn something new every day.
Is always learning new things important for you?
Yes. If you want to do something and you want to do it well you have to spend the time on it. You have to be constantly working, not just sticking with what you come up with immediately. Nothing is diminished because you have to do it five times over or take it apart and do it again. To just do it and get started is the best thing.
You make jewellery as well.
Jewellery came out of a fascination with questions of faith, which is why a lot of the stuff I make tends to have crosses. I also use a lot of bone. A lot of my pieces have a birth and decay sort of theme. I have a couple of good friends who are jewellers, especially Amelia Pascoe. She has been very helpful on the practical side - when it came to techniques I had no idea about, she was just great.
What materials do you use?
In my exhibition last year I had a lot of neck pieces that I made out of rosaries, vertebrae, skulls and jet. I like re-using materials. We have so much crap in the world already. And I'm drawn to things that are slightly broken, people, places, things. I don't like anything that's too pristine. It gives you a sense of time. Wellington's like that, out on the coast, the general wear and tear of the city. The buildings that have been here for a long time and the way they absorb the dirt and the graffiti and gain character.
How did you become a DJ?
I got into DJing through working at Slow Boat. One of the other guys who does the Americana show on Radio Active invited me along and that was it. I love it because you get to play good music. When you work at Slow Boat you are constantly exposed to new music as well.
How different is being a DJ on Radio Active compared to at Mighty Mighty?
At Radio Active you are in a little bit of a vacuum and at Mighty Mighty you have immediate feedback. People might ring up the Americana show and say, "Great job", but at Mighty Mighty you know when you are doing a good job. At both places though, you want to create a flow so that the night just gets better and better.
Does DJing make you a night owl?
Not really. I've really got into getting up early and making the most of my day. I've been a lot busier as well. I want to take advantage of every bit of time I have. I hate wasting the sunshine as well. Even if it's just being outside reading. Except when I finish at Mighty Mighty at 3am in the morning. Then I hope it's raining.
- The Wellingtonian