Areta Wilkinson has developed a significant art practice of 30 years that has investigated the intersection of applied art with the focus on contemporary jewellery as a form of knowledge and practice with Māori philosophies, especially whakapapa and a worldview informed by Ngāi Tahu Māori perspectives. Fifteen years of living in Te Waipounamu, the home of Ngāi Tahu, has informed her thinking and artwork in enriching ways. Of import to the artist is elevating mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) through bi-cultural methodologies as modelled by her Taua and Poua (grandparents).
Wilkinson was the recipient of the Creative New Zealand Craft Object Fellowship 2015. More recently she exhibited at APT9 Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (GAGOMA) 2018-19 and Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū 2020-21.