Celeste Sterling grew up in Northland, New Zealand and in the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne, Australia. The ecological themes in her artwork and recent leaf paintings had their genesis in early experiences of the New Zealand and Australian native bush.
Celeste graduated from Auckland University with a Masters Degree in Art History with First Class Honours in 1998. When the internet was in its infancy she researched the origins of the internet and its implications for New Zealand artists and galleries as part of her Masters degree. Time spent working in Dublin, Sydney and London as an artist and graphic designer deepened and expanded Celeste’s knowledge and experience of art history, design and contemporary art.
In 2009 she returned to Auckland to study painting and from this course came a series of abstract paintings about climate change. The desire to incorporate ecological concerns in her work in a more direct way led to the development of the leaf paintings. These use a nature printing technique whereby foliage is painted and printed by hand onto surfaces. The artworks created by this process reflect a lifelong interest in the natural environment, botanical art and ecology.