Warwick Freeman was born in Nelson, New Zealand, in 1953 and his skills are largely self-taught.
Warwick began jewellery-making in Perth, Australia, in 1972, following two years of travel. Returning to New Zealand in 1973, Warwick initially established a workshop in Nelson before moving to Auckland in 1975. After a brief stint as a manufacturing jeweler he first joined Lapis, a co-operative jewellery workshop, in 1977, and a year later became a partner in Auckland’s now highly successful jewellery co-operative Fingers. In the 1980s as a prominent member of this group, he revolutionized contemporary jewellery practice in Aotearoa. This work was characterized by the use of natural materials such as bone, stone and shell.
Warwick regularly exhibits in New Zealand and Australia, as well as in Europe and the USA. His works are held in many private collections internationally and in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; NGV, Melbourne, Auckland Museum; the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt; the Pinokothek der Moderne, Munich;the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Te Papa – Museum of New Zealand, Wellington.
His international standing was recognised by the Françoise van den Bosch Foundation, based at the Stedelijk Museum, who named him their 2002 Laureate, in the same year he received an Arts Foundation Laureate Award in New Zealand.
Warwick has been represented in survey and thematic exhibitions including: “Given” Jewellery by Warwick Freeman, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam (2004); and Ornament as Art, Smithsonian, Washington D.C (2007). His survey exhibition, “Given” toured national galleries around the country in 2005-2007.
Warwick Freeman lives in Auckland.