Tui began as a photography student working with photo assemblage and documenting the street life of her Wellington hometown. While still interested in photography, and after a course in carpentry, it was the more physical and tactile experience of carving which inspired and captured her creative energy, a creativity encouraged from a young age by her artistic parents. It was her father â€“ a carver, art teacher and cabinet-maker who first introduced Tui to woodworking and then to a significant influence, abstract artists and sculptors of the 50s and
Tuiâ€™s carvings range from small intimate pieces to large outdoor sculptures made from recycled native timber, hard woods, hard stone, cast glass and metal. Her forms are responsive to the materials in which she works and inspired by traditional objects infused with a contemporary twist and aesthetic. Tui comments, â€œtimbers such as totara, kauri, rimu and matai excite me for their individuality, each piece having its own unique quality, grain, colour and history. The scars in the wood are elements that add character rather than something to be hidden or removed. â€Tui acknowledges the redemptive and spiritual value of art.
Tui's works are held in public and private collections in New Zealand and overseas. Major group exhibitions include Sculpture Onshore Women's Refuge Exhibition (2004 & 2006), Auckland, curated by Helen Shamrock, Sculpture on the Gulf, Waiheke Island (2005), AK05 Tautai Trust Symposium and Pole Art of the World (2004), which included sculptors from Papua New Guinea, Canada, USA and New Zealand. In 2007 Tui had a successful solo exhibition at the Remuera Gallery, Auckland and in 2008 a solo exhibition at the McCarthy Gallery in Parnell. As Artist in Residence at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan for 2008, Tui designed a Sculpture for the grounds of the Kaohsiung Museum. Public Commissions include: Tokoroa Town Centre, Pacific Memories; Kell Park Albany, Kava Chair; North Shore Bus Terminal, Vaka, Open Form and Mangere Bridge School, Fale.