What's on

What's on

# make / believe

Fledgling Taranaki artists (and one old
take you to the edge with
new and inspiring work

29 January  21 February 2021   MAIN GALLERY

Image: Jordan Quinnell

#make/believe showcases work by several emerging artists who are pushing creative boundaries

Many of these artists have been award winners in the gallery’s successful biennial Emergence Award for Young Taranaki Artists, including previous supreme award winners Morgan Hancock and Jack Perkins.

Gallery director Rhonda Bunyan is keen to continue the impetus created by Emergence, and support and provide continuing exposure for these young artists.

‘Emerging young artists often feel stymied by the lack of opportunity to exhibit their work. They rely on social media, but there is nothing like seeing the art in person, and for the artists to see their work hanging in a public space.’

Artists include Stuart Tullett-Morris, Jordan Quinnell, Hayley-Elliott Kernot, Lee-Ann Rapira, 2018 Emergence Award Winner Morgan Hancock, Amy Brennan, Dwayne Duthie, Carl Fairweather, Portia Roper, Donna O’Donoghue, Blake Tanner, Haoro Hond, Lissa Lee, Blake Tanner and 2020 Emergence winner Jack Perkins. 

This is an exciting exhibition, with a contemporary edge and promises to elicit more than mediocre responses from the viewer.

* The 'old magpie’ refers to Hawera assemblage artist Carl Fairweather who is a few years older than the ‘fledging’ artists and a collector of shiny objects to take back to his nest.

Amy Brennan

Down the Rabbit Hole


‘In that direction lives a Hatter; and in that direction lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.’ —The Cheshire Cat

For me the creative process is a bit like going down the ‘rabbit hole’. When starting a new project I often have no idea where the journey will lead and as I begin to work the clay, I discover the shape and direction of the rabbit hole, and characters reveal themselves to me. It is a journey that can be both immensely rewarding and incredibly challenging, especially when the destination is unclear.

This series, based on the timeless ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carroll, presented me with an opportunity to begin the journey with a destination in mind. The process of hand-building the work is still full of surprises, unexpected twists and turns. The result is a collection of characters that are at once familiar and new, recognisable and enigmatic.

Haoro Hond

Kei whea te pou e tu ana, hei a nei

Acrylic on MDF board—$7800
2200mm x 1200mm

On 21 July, 2020, Councillors voted to establish a Maori ward in the New Plymouth District for the 2022 elections (12 votes to 2). Similar to the Maori parliamentary seats, these Maori wards and constituencies establish areas where only those on the Maori role vote for the representatives. They sit alongside the general wards which also cover the whole region.

‘I stand by my decision, as one of those people as well as my 12 fellow councillors to establish a Maori ward, we believe it’s the right thing to do for our country. We believe it is to honour TE TIRITI O WAITANGI. Providing Maori with an equal voice around our table.’ —Sam Bennett

This artwork makes reference to the establishment of a Maori seat in local governance. This painting encapsulates the ideals (nga ture), of the people who would sit on the Maori ward.
The two figures on the legs of the chair make reference to the ancestors who held the mantle of power, pakeha and Maori. Their hard efforts and sacrifices are the foundations we sit on today. The spiral is common in most cultures around the world. The spiral represents growth, change and understanding. Understanding comes when you have reached the centre of yourself, for only you can answer the hard questions. Change comes after understanding. When undergoing change, we start to find new ways of incorporating solutions to the questions being understood internally; implementing change so we may achieve inner peace, prosperity and bring about positive affirmations. Growth can be seen once understanding and changes are implemented. Growth can be measured in many ways, but ultimately growth comes naturally when you expand your horizons. Live fearlessly when engaging the unknown.

For the unknown now, will be a platform of learning for future generations.

Dwayne Duthie


Acrylic on canvas—$1100 SOLD

Born in Taranaki, I live in New Plymouth with my partner Jess and daughter Ruby-Jane.

My works can be based around subjects of the human condition; emotional response, social response, anxiety and paranoia, prevalent things within the human experience. I like this to be represented in my work as subtly as possible. I also enjoy creating works of fiction and coming up with scenes and portrayals of a surreal nature.

I take influence from many artists. I look at my paintings mostly as expressionism/post impressionist orientated but have adapted different elements into them. I paint in a way I feel is relevant to a subject, choosing the appropriate technique for what I’m portraying in my work and am therefore comfortable in painting in different ways. I have a growing interest In contemporary arts and art processes including installation of works. This has been the focus with my own work to date, gaining experience and my own understanding of new and traditional medias and what use I can get from these. Using video-based art, I can focus on experimental aspects of the creative process, even if the work makes little sense at the time of why or for what purpose it has been created, this can help me develop new ideas for future use.

As an artist, I’m working towards gaining the experience and knowledge to work on larger projects and installations, installing works of profiled artists allows for the understanding of new concepts and processes that go into contemporary arts as well as the ability to solve problematic issues that stem from installation. With this In mind I would look to utilise larger spaces and adapt my work around said space.

As for now I am solid in painting and video; I see myself learning new methods of art creation and installation for the majority of my career.

Jack Perkins

And the Noise


Surrounded by the faces of people who are both friendly and familiar, there’s unease to be found in getting too close. There’s nothing to say — or at least nothing that’s not been said. Isolation is ever present, even when those who care are close enough to touch.

I was the winner of the Percy Thomson Gallery TSBCT Emergence Award in 2020.

Hayley Elliott-Kernot

Inspired by A Limitless Imagination


Humankind’s desire to create regardless of race, gender, age and time is exquisitely beautiful. From Tolkien’s Middle Earth, to a gardener planting flowers, to a child pretending to be a dragon; its mark can be found ingrained within each and every one of us. Where does this desire come from? What is at the heart of it? And if it is one of the few things that all humans have in common, can it be drawn on to bring us together?

In 2021 my work is focusing on our ability to appreciate beauty, to imagine and to create. It looks at these traits, explores how deep they go and how they can be used to bring about a world of peace and equality. If we can create thousands of worlds from our imagination, can we not use this ability to shape one world into a better place?

These four works look at where creativity starts, within a single person, the finite shell that houses a mind that is wider and deeper than oceans; to be inspired, to think, to dream, and to form it into something physical are the first, small steps into the strange, wild and endless possibilities of imagination.

Blake Tanner



I have always loved robots, monsters/creatures and other things of a fantastical nature, which has fueled my desire to paint them. The feeling of bringing to life something that does not or could not exist is an excitement that fulfills the child inside me. I have been painting and drawing since breaking my leg before beginning primary school which lead me to take art classes instead of playing sports and created a love for the craft from a young age. This continued all through my schooling and has lead me to the point I am now.

Primarily I work in oils and pencil as my main mediums, however, I have dabbled in range of other mediums... acrylics, ink and digital mediums as well. Amongst my various works in the fantasy and scifi genre, I also enjoy creating pet portaits and figure drawings along with a range of other subject mattter.

Portia Roper


Woodcut embossing on paper—$390

I am a student studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours. In 2019 I achieved a Level 3 excellence endorsement in art. My 2019 photography portfolio board was placed in the top 60 art boards in NZ and was chosen for New Zealand Top Art touring exhibition. I also received a photography scholarship in 2019.

I have always been passionate about art. I developed my printmaking skills and a love for the medium while in high school. Four of these works utilise printmaking techniques; etching wood, cut print and embossing. I create an unrealistic animal world using human bodies and put animal heads on them. This is also called Anthropomorphism.

Carl Fairweather

The Ballad of Alice Wonderland
# Time out Mind

 740mm x 740mm

I am a mixed media artist living in Hawera and am currently a full-time creative assistant at the South Taranaki Creative Space.

I decided to be an artist when I was about 16 (now I’m 47 ), spurred on by my High School art teacher Tim Chadwick.

Ever since then I’ve been experimenting with different mediums. A few years ago I discovered assemblage and collage via the inspirational work of artist Dale Copeland and Australian artist Brett Whiteley. I had found my creative ‘happy place’.

The process of bringing my assemblages and collages together is an intellectual/creative shuffle of found objects (mostly found at local op shops), a process that can take a few weeks to months.

The objects I use have to have a certain essence to them, a life, character for them to be used; it is very much like a chef selecting what to use in a dish; only the best ingredients will do. It’s what makes the work.

Another important part of my process is music. It’s the dance partner to the creative act; it’s also a theme that has been coming through my work in recent times, in the titles and objects used.
I’ve been influenced by the concept of the Ballad which is defined as a poem or song narrating a short story. That’s what the works in this exhibition are: visual poems/songs, silent ballads.

If I had to give a title to this small body of work I would call it ‘Pop Spirituality from the Oran Mor’ (The Great Melody of Life).

Lissa Lee

The Last Tree

Mixed media—$449

‘When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money’—Alanis Obomsawin.

Suspended in a sustainably-sourced glass jar and surrounded by twinkling quartz chips, The Last Tree is an extension of Stasis... the inevitable outcome of focussing on individuality ahead of interconnectedness. A failed future.

Stuart Tullett-Morris

Pot plant II

Acrylic on paper—$320

The simple idea of drawing a person sitting at a table eating dinner has led to a series of more than 40 paintings, either acrylic on paper or oil on canvas. This theme has lead me to consider ideas and imagery of people, food, drink and flowers... then deeper into concepts of hunger, gluttony and ritual.

Rhiannon Higgs

Blurred Brush Strokes
Between Two Arching Trees


in the distance

the horizon line

grew two
arching trees

deep emerald
grass the colour of lime

a moment

of colour and of line
beneath the golden bright blue


a linear landscape


of time


a peach circle
of line

Morgan Paige

Essentials I

Coloured pencil and acrylic on Fabriano paper—$2050

Raised in Taranaki, Morgan Paige Hancock is a full-time graphic designer and artist who has now based herself in Auckland.

Her artistic style evolved through a of lack of studio space while renting in Auckland. Graphite, coloured pencils and pen were an easy way to take the over the dining table for short bursts of time and then be packed away. Block colours of acrylic paint also meant that bright colours with crisp cutlines could be quickly applied without the risk of mixing colours drying out. She will sometimes integrate subtle embroideries to create a surprise element and add depth to the flat, blocks of acrylic.

Morgan’s work is inspired by fashion and popular culture. She was born in the 90’s and has always been influenced by 80’s and 90’s fashion, drawing clothes she would have personally wanted for herself, but never had. She incorporates quintessential kiwi icons within her work, to create a feeling of nostalgia and a reminder of childhood as a kiwi kid.

Morgan received the TSB Community Trust Emergence Award for Young Taranaki Artists in 2018.

Lee-Ann Rapira

Cinnamon City

Mixed media—$180

This collection is inspired by the boxed shaped square and the convenience of the ready-made take-home consumer product. The idea developed from a desire to get away from the hanging canvas onto something more robust and for this series I really wanted to have fun. The pre-loved sourced materials (at times) dictated the direction of the work which is ultimately my favourite way to create.

Donna O'Donoghue

Escape Hinterland

Surreal digital—$395

My work explores the relationship between realism and fantasy with influences as diverse as Jerry Uelsman and Dora Maar. My works are synthesised from both real scenes, real structures and objects to create landscapes and scenes unreal and seemingly impossible.

Ever since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by the essential unreality of reality, the line that blurs the two. What starts out as contemplation soon becomes born into a carnival of fantasy, leaving only a sense of what is real and is the likelihood of a new beginnings even it be only in the mind’s eye.

Jordan Quinnell

Among Us

Digital print—$120 SOLD

Nga Ruahinerangi, Taranaki, Ngati Tuwharetoa Iwi

Am I Safe?

In 2020 everyone’s lives changed as important issues such as climate change, race and covid-19 were thrust into the global spotlight.

While it took a while for this series to come about, I knew that I wanted to reference these issues as well as build on my previous research into the symbolism of the “mask” and how it can be used as a tool of protection.

As we move forward into 2021, peoples need for protection is greater than ever and it begs us to ask the question - Are we actually safe? Am I safe??

Origins and Memories

Paintings of Taranaki and Hinterland


29 January  21 February 2021   GALLERY 2

'I have always had a love of land form, perhaps owing to birth and growing up under the shadow of Mt Taranaki'

Denis was born in Stratford in 1950.

Denis produces art and design works in a range of media from his studio, north of Auckland.

His fascination with landforms and topography lead him to the study of geomorphology at tertiary level and is also attributable to his formative years spent living beneath Mount Taranaki.

‘I have always had a love of land form, perhaps owing to birth and growing up under the shadow of Mt Taranaki. This exhibition is a selection of paintings of the mountain and nearby country from the last 30 years, and demonstrates to me the creative energy that I have received from the Taranaki area.’

Denis has recently completed a large mural series at the Albertland Heritage Centre at Wellsford, North Auckland.

His work is held in numerous collections in New Zealand and overseas.

Denis Bourke

Tarananki from the Eastward

Acrylic on wood panel—$3700

Denis Bourke


Acrylic on canvas—$850


Denis Bourke


Acrylic on wood panel—$890

Denis Bourke


Oil on board—$3800


This product has been added to your cart