Welcome to episode 145 of Sweetman Podcast with support from our sponsors – T Leaf T, Yeastie Boys and La Petite Chocolat.
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Freeman White is a Hawke’s Bay-based painter specialising in both portraiture and landscapes. I’ve known Freeman for most of my life, we went right through primary and high school, though he was a few years younger than me (still is in fact, considering how age works). I was the same year as his older brother, so knew the family. In fact at one point Freeman and I even played in a band together for a while…mostly Smashing Pumpkins covers (to date us both).
I’ve always remained in touch with Freeman – he’s someone I would bump into on the streets of Wellington. I was always interested in his hobby and how he turned that into a career. I’ve always been impressed by his talent, his hard work, his dedication.
And so, a couple of months back I was in Hawke’s Bay for the Writers and Readers Week of the Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival (and you’ll get to hear my involvement in that on an upcoming episode of the podcast) and I took the opportunity to catch up with Freeman for a long chat about his life and work.
It was so great to reconnect, and we had a big old chat about – well, mostly art. But also music and some of our shared connections. Freeman was taught by my old high school art teacher (I’ve no idea what happened in my case?) That same teacher, who is mentioned early on in this conversation, also taught one of my earliest podcast guests, another Hawke’s Bay-born artist, Matthew Couper. (And here’s that episode if you missed it at the time and are interested).
I really loved catching up with Freeman and though he’s a mate I really didn’t know the full story at all until we shared this conversation. So it was lovely reconnect.
I hope you enjoy hearing his story – which includes some discussion around his time spent on the set of The Hobbit and his commissioned portraiture that he created for the film What We Do In The Shadows, among many other stories.