Taranaki artists and affiliates share
the good, the bad, the ugly and the spiritual of
Covid Lockdown

18 December 2020 to 24 January 2021

Curated by Rhonda Bunyan

Image credit: Ché Rogers, Inner Bubble Too, Acrylic on ACM

72 Taranaki artists share their Covid- 19 Lockdown creations in Percy Thomson’s major end- of- year exhibition.

The exhibition focuses on artwork produced during the Lockdown period and also post-Lockdown, in a reflective capacity. 

Some artists found Lockdown stifling to their inner creative soul and struggled to undertake any creative endeavour during quarantine. One artist confided that she totally ‘dried up’ and couldn’t bring herself to pick up a paint brush.

Others embraced the ‘enforced break from normal life’ relishing the ensuing spare time and isolation, seeing it as a ‘gift’, and put it to good use.

The exhibition is diverse and covers a wide range of medium.

Artists provide an overview of their creative process, so viewers can appreciate the art and also have entre into the personal realm of the artist’s own unique experience.

Barry Te Whatu



Watched the birds lay their claim to the golf greens as the land around us took a pause to rest.

Unable to check in on loved ones while I struggled with internalised isolation.

Nearest thing to creativity was losing on the Chinese checkers board and making a sticky date pudding for the first time.

Maria Brockhill


 Porcelain clay and glaze—$600

Anthea Stayt

Graffiti pot

 Acrylic on Stoneware Clay—$1795

During Lockdown 2020 I created a new series of hand-built ceramic pots. Influenced by the iconic painting The Scream which depicts anxiety and uncertainty, I formed the neck of the pots based on the shape of the agonised face.

Once the constraints of social distancing were relaxed, I felt inspired to convey the feeling of liberation by painting the form in graffiti style. This finish has resulted in a strong, vibrant, and uplifting work of art. It represents the experience of the unprecedented time we all endured.   

Jana Branca


Oil on canvas—$2700

As fear swept across the Globe, leaders around the world were faced with the crushing responsibility of making urgent decisions on how to respond to this invisible enemy. The world around us came to a grinding halt, and we were forced to slow down. 

Unprecedented times indeed.

In the face of a global crisis, my sense of peace came under threat, and the renewal of a sobering perspective on life prompted my priorities to shift overnight. The ‘urgent’ made way for the ‘important’, and things that I had moved to the periphery of my attention came into sharp focus. Even painting, which I might previously have described as an essential part of me, suddenly seemed pale and inconsequential.

My intrigue with the ‘Human Condition’ has greatly influenced my work and has quite naturally led to figure painting and portraiture. More than ever before, I found myself grappling with the unavoidable tensions which we hold together in one bag;

Strength and frailty.
Growth and decay.
Dependence and interdependence.

In labouring over this painting during our period of isolation, I became aware of the dichotomies which I was working through in my own heart. I mourned my disconnect from the community, but I couldn’t help but celebrate the re-enforced connections within my bubble. My feelings of isolation were offset by feelings of belonging, and the frustrations over the restrictions of what I could no longer do were overcome by the gratitude for the freedom I now had to do what I needed to do.

Wrestling through notions of identity and existence is important to me, and in being confronted with my mortality, I felt the need to revisit the big questions of life; questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny; forcing me to test the coherency of my world view.

As a storm-tossed boat finds security in a tither outside itself; something bigger, stronger, and unshakable; so, I tightened my grip. I realised afresh that I am not immune to the deep sorrows of life, and how vital my anchor is. Where else could I find the hope, the peace, and the strength that my human heart needs to stand?

Pantea Rastegari


Oil on board—$3500

All artists around the world would have experienced the announcement of the Lockdown as a shock. Conclusion: an impression of rupture and conflicting emotion, between doubt, anger and hope. My painting depicts my feelings on that complex and unexpected situation.

Mikaela Nyman

Galaxies Sugared and Stripped

Monoprint and hand-lettering—$265

We feed our anxieties with that

which eludes us, what can be said

instead – galaxies sugared 

and stripped – suck on verbs that explode

a constricted throat.

There are holes, my nebulous neighbour 

notes, but nothing we say can

fix this space.

Every exuberant burst chimes

with terror. 

Reading Maggie Nelson at Matariki
by Mikaela Nyman

This is the first in a series of prints in response to my poems and essays that engage with the narrative of the 2020 pandemic. As a writer and visual creative, I relish both the interplay and the contradiction of words and images. As a Kiwi-Finn, an Islander now cocooned at the bottom of the world, I add the worries about my only remaining elders in Sweden and in the Åland islands to my kete that is so full with concerns: climate change, Black Lives Matter, #Me Too, who deserves a statue and how we choose to tell our history – topped up with ‘Are the kids coping?’ and ‘Where will the next pay check come from?’ 

Then there are the small things: fragments and disconnects, dreams and shattered hopes. It all matters. All the flotsam and jetsam that make us who we are. And there’s the open-endedness of the pandemic that renders our grief abstract, turning all our hopes and plans into something intangible. 

Printmaking requires space and tools. Lockdown hampered access to art material and presses. We home-schooled. Intentions faded as we unravelled. The process of creating became all-important in order to stay sane. Apart from the printing ink and fine art paper I have used materials readily available at home.

Tanya Harris

Silver Koru

Embossed foil on recycled board, acrylic—$135

Lockdown was the time when all the intensity of everyday life outside home suddenly stopped. The ideas and thoughts of many days got into shape now. I had a chance to do a bit of this craft many years ago, when in primary school, and had been planning to do something with it for a long time – the silence of the Lockdown provided this opportunity...

Ché Rogers

Inner Bubble Too

Acrylic on ACM—$2600

Whilst in a bubble during Lockdown many of us had the time and space to go deeper within ourselves.

Inner Bubble Too's circular forms embody the containment of isolation while the radiating lines illustrate movements of self-reflection leading to inner ease.

Trevor Knowsley

The Journey to Zero

Acrylic, mixed media—NFS

The Journey to Zero — I had warnings of problems to come from family in San Francisco and Auckland. Accordingly, we left Auckland and stocked up with green groceries on the way back to New Plymouth. We then went into Lockdown one week before New Zealand went into Covid Level 2. 

From the beginning we sat in front of the TV in a state of shock and rather dazzled by the daily news. There seemed to be no way of making sense of it all other than to record it each day. 

I drew up a score card as follows;

Date – Total – New – Hospital – Ok – Deaths – Taranaki Total New and Deaths – Community Transmission – Intensive care – Level

I later added net active cases and comments.

We never left the house or missed a 1pm briefing. With the information gathered we were able to follow the spread of COVID-19 and the effect of Lockdown controlling it. We were able to see that the numbers were becoming stable and later decreasing .

Once the zero new cases started it took 26 days before there were no active cases in New Zealand. Jacinda did a little dance and Ashley had a broad smile. We joined them and I stopped recording the information. 

I wanted to keep a permanent record of what had taken place and created The Journey to Zero using my detailed record and expressing the emotions of the whole experience. We were cautiously able to leave our house.

Kathryn Gates

Celadon Bowl

Porcelain clay—$120

Lockdown gave me an opportunity to further explore my creativity, working with porcelain clay, which is such a tactile medium.

It was a therapeutic time, as I was able to enjoy doing what I really love, throwing bowls. This allowed me to become totally immersed in my work, feeling the tension and fluidity of the clay. I have used a reduction high-fired celadon glaze, which shows the decorative lines. 

Margaret Foley

Time Out


Lockdown taught us to slow down and enjoy home.

A good book, a comfy chair and a cuppa.

Joelle Xavier

Social Isolation

Wood, tin, paint, paper—$120

Because safety doesn’t always come in numbers...


Ian Lewis


  Ink on paper—$180

I believe that enjoying art can be a great way of reflecting on our own thoughts and feelings. After Lockdown, I produced a series of automatic drawings, for people to enjoy. They are expressive and draw on the inner mind of the artist and the viewer. Madeleine is one of these drawings, a female figure looking out at us.

John Fawkner

The Fault

 Mixed Media—$500

This work is based on a fracture in a road cutting at the end of Pukearuhe Road, just as you go down to the beach. The displacement of the layers suggested an earthquake fault. 

Using a range of textural materials, the layers were modelled, cut and then displaced like a fault line. Covid-19 Lockdown was a time of displacement for society and its individual members. Eventually, the displacement will settle down to a new arrangement which has the potential for future movement.

Lockdown can be viewed as a ‘time of fracture’ in our lives leading to us having to adapt to new arrangements.

The new arrangement provides continuous interest for us to interpret as the underlying structure of society has changed.

Jo Dixey

Medical Rock Star

Hand embroidery—$675

During Covid Lockdown in April, Dr Ashley Bloomfield became a huge part of my day. He had such a calm manner that made me feel New Zealand was in safe hands. We were seeing him so often he became a celebrity, much like a rock star, which I am sure he would never thought would happen when he was at medical school. I wanted to mark this time in history, and as an embroiderer, stitching a portrait of our ‘Medical Rock Star’ seemed the best idea. I used metal threads for the portrait with the background virus pattern stitched using cotton threads. 

Suraya Sidhu Singh

St Luke the Evangelist

 Oil on Board—$1200

Many saints were people who became venerated because they led others through difficult times like Covid-19. Ashley Bloomfield isn’t a saint, but images of saints only in part show saints – they mostly describe the artist, their community and their time. St Luke the Evangelist is the patron saint of doctors. His sidekick is a winged calf, which for me is a Jersey calf in a Taranaki landscape. (If asked what kind of cows he had, my dairy-farming grandfather from Egmont Village would reply, ‘There is only one kind of cow.’) I gave the calf the wings of a kea, because its cleverness and capacity to learn seem like qualities you’d want on your side when you’re fighting a global pandemic. So, this is one of the thousands of images of St Luke the Evangelist that have been made throughout history – but this one was made by me, to be seen by you, in this place, at this moment.

Helen McLorinan

Alphabet Inspiration

Paper, ink (Staedtler). Molotow acrylic pens—NFS

I switched my everyday landscapes on canvas to cost effective ink and paper and our five-year-old daughter became my subject matter with sketches completed late at night. I have been quoted as saying, ‘I don’t draw people’. I capturing the spirit of a child—our daughter—documented during moments from our Lockdown.

Reflection on our Lockdown bubble is one of peace, conversations, baking, winemaking, overindulging, saving money and laziness. My time to create did not come easy. Our daughter’s vibrancy for life meant being a friend, teacher, nurse, entertainer, cook, cleaner and mother, all of those in no order on any given day.  Repeat, rewind, and replay.

The alphabet theme was soon accomplished, and our days then drifted into being a part of the 100-day challenge with a group of local artists. I continued with ‘capturing the spirit of a child’ and now have something our daughter and we can reflect on in years to come.

Cherie Dodds

Fragile Fun

Acrylic and oil—$800

Lives revolving around a child.
A swirling maelstrom of concern, fear, frustration.
Shining moments of appreciation, connection, love. 
Time bounced and still bounds.

Lance Whiteman

Nazare in Lockdown

 Acrylic paint pen on fibreglass—$1700

I was planning a trip to the Portuguese coastal town of Nazare about the same time as Covid Lockdown. Nazare is known in the surfing world for the huge waves that break just in front of an old lighthouse perched precariously on cliffs overlooking the ocean below. Due to the combining effects of winter Atlantic storm swells, ocean floor contour and shore currents, huge waves up to 100 feet high can be generated. 

For many years it has been a goal of mine to visit Portugal, spend time painting and most importantly, be able to experience the raw power and beauty of the ocean at this amazing location.

Unable to make this trip this year, and who knows just when it may be possible again because of COVID-19, I decided to paint a surfboard celebrating this destination. 

Like a lot of life’s experiences, it is sometimes the journey that is most enjoyed. The research I did for this painting, including  Nazare’s history and the finer detail of its location, gave me a sense of intimacy with the subject material which helped to reduce my sense of disappointment and frustration at not making it this year. 

It is interesting to note that in early November due to amazing surf conditions which drew large crowds, the location was closed due to the possible threat of COVID-19 spread.

Kris White

Dr Hannibal Lecter

Oil and acrylic on canvas—$1250

Silences Of The Lambs
Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal the Cannibal
A brilliant psychiatrist
A violent seductive psychopath
A life sentence behind bars
Hospital for the criminally insane
Multiple murders
Arrogant manner
Frosty smile
Eyes that never change expression
Simply a monster
Terrifyingly powerful
Do-it-yourself face lifting
Clock ticking down
Stalked by a killer
In his mind he draws her near
The enjoyment of the suffering of victims
Another death of a young woman
She is flesh and blood and something more
Elegant tastes
Arrogant matter
Cat and mouse
Women used as a token
The struggle in prison of pain and violence
Her gaze never wavers
She faces Lecter’s appraising stare
Insulted, betrayed and humiliated
Does Lector become trusted
When the mask comes off

Lecter strolls off into the sunset in some undisclosed tropical place, clad in an impeccable white linen suit.

It does not feel like we’ve seen the last of him.

Blake Dunlop

Ketone Test Strip + Espresso Martini

Acrylic on board—$5800

2020, huh? This is the year that an enforced lockdown jolted New Zealanders out of their usual, all-encompassing state of momentum. The disruption to our homeostatic cruise-control provided many New Zealanders with the first chance of their lifetimes to regain perspective. For the artist this event lifted a veil and accelerated awareness of contradictory behavioural choices made by himself, and by peers. By creating a universe where items that represent our choices sit together as a couplet, the hypocrisy becomes self-evident. Our contradictions are overlooked when the consumption is separated, but become glaringly obvious when the observer is afforded the luxury of time to sit with it.

The series picks at the loose threads of the #gifted sweater of society and the exaggerated online characters that come with it. Our public personas and private lives start to unravel; sitting on the same shelf our behaviours are laid bare.

From the ongoing series Us, Now.

Gaye Atkinson

Relic Basket

Raku $195

Lockdown really was a time of reflection for me. With a broken wrist on the mend, wheel-throwing was difficult so I developed my latest, hand-built work, that reflects Taranaki’s rugged environment, some totally black, others coloured landforms. 

My pots are a cross-section of my thrown and hand-built forms and post-firing raku techniques.

Donna Hitchcock

Locked inside

Pottery pair—$150

I am a local potter and during Lockdown I came up with these two dwellings called Locked Inside.

Sometimes an artist can create their best work under lock and key and no contact with the outside world, only their thoughts to inspire them. So when forced into Lockdown you have nowhere to go or nowhere to be, so get the clay out and spend time creating. It was definitely nice to slow down from the turmoil of everyday life. But as time goes by you start to miss family, friends and the community. 

Lynda Hooker

Let There Be Light

Pottery—$175 set

With all the doom and gloom associated with facing a global pandemic, some lost sight of the light. Lockdown inspired me to reflect ‘light’ in my pottery creations and so evolved a new collection of patio/outdoor lights and candle holders. The tall pillars represent rising to the challenges faced and the strength of standing tall united together, with this pair titled Let there be light !

Louise McFetridge

Gaudy Weed


I’m a hand-builder potter. I make quirky folk. My folk are gaudy and beautiful…they make people think. My folk have names: Margo, Lars, Zinnia.  I like gaudy colours. There is lots of colour in my garden. Some of these folk have arms, funny legs with rings around them. Lockdown was pretty good for me as I put my hands into clay. I have a studio out the backyard, with a radio.

Portia Roper

The Unknown Warriors

Mixed Media—NFS

This body of work was part of an assignment during my studies at Massey University in Wellington prior to the Covid Lockdown 2020.  We studied the War Memorial in Wellington; we visited the site to get inspiration for a series of works to end with a one-off final piece.  At the War Memorial lies the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  It is New Zealand’s foremost symbol of remembrance for all New Zealanders who didn’t return home after serving their country overseas.  

I created collages using my own photography, pencil rubbings and newspaper.  One of the collages was an image of my grandfather who was in WWII.  On top of his military hat I drew a sketch of Mount Taranaki which links to my hometown.  I used native leaves to create a Māori Korowai for my Grandad to wear which also represents my Māori ancestry.  With the development of the Korowai, I used native leaves. These leaves are a link to the nature at my home.  With the incorporation of the leaves, it shows us that any one soldier could have been the Unknown Warrior.  The leaves also represent the soldiers’ souls, their identity and their blood. These soldiers are my Grandad, his face now gone. He is embodied in the nature that surrounds me. With ANZAC Day falling during the Covid period it helped with the development of ideas for the final piece.

Cherol Filbee

Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil

Papier-mâché and mixed media—$160 each, $460 set

My creative Lockdown experience was happily spent with my two best friends, husband Peter and furry companion, Rocky, a beautiful British short-hair cat.

I found inspiration for my work within the bounds of our own garden. After each morning walk, Rocky would be waiting to remind me of the way to my workshop in case I had forgotten overnight. There, he earned his daily treats by ringing the counter bell and shaking hands before settling down to his supervisory duties which included walking in my paint, drinking my brush water and honouring me with the occasional loving head butt — all between naps of course. Supervision is a tiring business.

Rocky starred in many of my garden-scape paintings and inspired my latest Papier Mache obsession of Catastrophe’s’ (Cats as Trophy’s) which I continue to create and, although they don’t all resemble Rocky, there are always elements of his personality present.

Rocky lived with a heart murmur and sadly, at the age of ten years and seven months, my devoted furry companion passed away shortly after the end of Lockdown.  I miss him every day but he lives on in my art and heart. I think of him when I look into the garden where his ashes have been scattered. 

Sue Ellis

Baroque Buccaneers

 Mixed media—$375

... there we were, at anchor, sails furled, going nowhere – but undaunted we aired our wings and got on with scraping off barnacles and releasing delicious smells from the galley, ready to catch the wind and once again ride the high seas...

Eve Jones

Cabin Fever (detail)

Fabric, quilted and embellished—$400

This project began as a challenge from the Stratford Village Quilters to complete six postcard sized pieces relating to ‘home’. Thankfully, we went ‘hard and fast’ into Lockdown so I decided to tell the story of that time. I enjoy paper-piecing so adapted designs from ‘101 Log Cabin Blocks’ to fit the size required. It became an engrossing and therapeutic project at a time when mental health was truly tested.

And so my story began:

Despite our isolation it was only a matter time before Covid reached our shores. The 28th of February saw our first confirmed case and we became part of the worldwide chaos.

Lives became ‘ordered’.  Social distancing, sanitising and personal bubbles became the norm.  Supermarket shelves were emptied as home baking enjoyed a revival. Toilet rolls became more ‘precious’ than Tolkien’s ring and incited supermarket aisle tantrums in grown adults.

Exercise was encouraged. I witnessed a huge upsurge of people walking or bike riding. Teddies appeared in windows along with Christmas lights to bring stress-relieving smiles to children and adults alike.

Appreciation of ‘essential’ workers was boundless, shown by community clapping or raising a glass. Easter Bunny being declared an essential worker by the PM brought some light-heartedness to an otherwise depressing time when so many special celebrations had to be cancelled.

I was very aware of the beauty around me. The permanence (hopefully!) of our wonderful mountain gave hope that this uncertain stressful time would pass. Quiet contemplation for another tumultuous time took the place of much-loved gatherings and parades when ANZAC day celebrations were cancelled. They were not forgotten.

Our gardens became our calming sanctuaries. We had time to appreciate our own spaces, to slow down and listen. My heart went out to those living in high rise apartments during this time.

Isla Fabu

Flow with Me (detail)

Hand-spun muka and silk on wire, dyed with indigo and mangrove—$1630

Flow with me—up and down—through waves of hope and grief, excitement and fear, trust and doubt.

Are these ups and downs two-dimensional curves or part of a spiralling movement?

Maybe all we need to do is change our perspective, maybe even bowing down to see the magic.

Creating this artwork has helped me to navigate through my ups and downs during Lockdown and through all that has bubbled up after the killing of George Floyd in the USA.

I had no intention to make a designated Lockdown piece. In fact, I was reluctant to do anything at all. But then I found a note I’ve had written to myself: ‘Muka makes my heart sing’.

What a calling! As soon as I started working with those magic muka threads I was feeling at home. It was all I needed to feel deeply grounded and to trust life again.

There was no concept in my mind whatsoever. All I did was let my hands speak and my heart sing.

After many years of working with different media, I figured that this intuitive process is the reason why I feel driven to create art.

I’m able to access the unthinkable; I get answers to questions I did not know I have; I can figure things out I couldn’t otherwise.

By working on this piece I have embodied that ‘downs’ are as valuable as ‘ups’, that they are inevitable parts of a spiralling movement. I’m finally able to feel the joy of riding these waves and let myself be this unfolding spiral. I believe we are here to grow. Sometimes this includes dealing with an unpredictable virus and sometimes, very sadly, with another black life lost.

Henriette Reason

When Bubbles Collide


Lockdown for me was a very pleasant and relaxing time.  Living at New Plymouth Boys’ High School, I was lucky to be part of a very large bubble which included several hostel masters, their families and 20 international students who were not able to go home to their own countries and families. Lockdown brought us all much closer together and we spent pleasant days having coffee mornings in the sunshine, exciting afternoons playing hard-fought football matches and fun games evenings.  Our international students come from countries such as Chile, Germany, Thailand, Hong Kong, Fiji and the Maldives and we had several evenings where the boys put on little productions, songs and dances, or slide shows from their respective countries.  It was so interesting to hear more about their way of life at home and appreciate how difficult, but also rewarding, it can be for them to come half way round the world to experience a different culture in another country.  

My painting When Bubbles Collide was painted after Lockdown and it represents how we all had different bubbles and different experiences. While I can appreciate, that for some, it would have been a difficult time, I think for many it was a time to relax and reflect on how we live our lives and how we could possibly make our lives better when our individual bubbles were allowed to collide with other bubbles. 

Heidi Griffin

Lockdown Life


New Zealand Lockdown 2020 was meant as a deterrent, a sacrifice for the greater good and a time for New Zealanders to pull together as a ‘team of 5 million’ to keep us all safe in this turbulent moment in our modern history.

I personally, found it a wonderfully peaceful time, where I could pick up my paint brushes again and create.

I painted every day, creating a visual diary throughout Level 4 and Level 3, representing what was happening to me, nationally and internationally.

Lockdown Life is my Level 3 visual diary. 

One bubble represents each day of Level 3, while spelling out Level 3 Lockdown.

It was challenging, but rewarding, to create and I am pleased with the finished results as a reminder of this time.

Graham Kirk

Wonderwoman at Te Henui Rivermouth


Wonderwoman at the Te Henui Rivermouth was painted during the Lockdown period and is part of my series of Superheroes in New Zealand landscapes and cityscapes. The very first one was Superman and the Hawera Water Tower painted in 1989.

Carina McQueen

From My Bubble to Yours


This piece came about through me having time; time I have never had before… nowhere to be, no appointments to go to, no deadlines to meet. It allowed me to explore a different medium, its possibilities without the time pressures of life as I normally know it.  A unique moment in our lives.

Jo Stallard

Out on a Limb

Oil on board—$2400

Out on a Limb is a larger version of the smaller pencil work I produced during Lockdown and, like that first version, it seems to reflect the rumination, contemplation and cogitation space, that Lockdown gave us.

As artists we need time to think about things… but Lockdown made us all understand that as humans we all need to have time to think about things. We are better humans because of it.

Sadly, for me, Lockdown also highlighted how much we have lost… I lament for the time before when a simpler less frenetic pace allowed for meditation about existence.

Suzan Kostanich

Kozo Slab Bowl

Felt and kozo paper—$200

For many, Lockdown was a bewildering and difficult experience; the loss of the ability to socialise freely and the imposition of ‘house arrest’ created unforeseen turmoil.

My personal experience was the opposite. It was a period of serenity and an opportunity to further extend my practice.

While the intimate experience of felting remains the basis of my work, I spent uninterrupted time exploring the possibilities of extending this process to incorporate paper and inks.

It was time-consuming and often difficult to incorporate these fibres but became, ultimately, a joyful experience and allowed me to develop a new skill set. The bowls presented here are just the beginning of a new body of work. 

​Tony Carter

Isolation Selfies


My Isolation Selfies series came about from sheer boredom during Covid Lockdown. I’ve never been one to post images of myself on social media but decided to have a bit of fun trying out the camera on my new iPhone.

I started to post a selfie a day on Facebook and found that it brightened the day of quite a few of my friends during a tough period of Covid uncertainty.

My Isolation Selfies were published in D-Photo magazine as part of a Lockdown Special in August 2020.

Derek Hughes

Undisturbed Time to Study
Nature in Our Garden


Level 4 — a peaceful time.

Nature undisturbed. Quiet time. Almost no man-made noise to disturb my life. I could sit and enjoy nature in a state closer to what I wish it could be. I enjoyed the bird life in abundance, less stressed, more relaxed.

I could sit and watch without time pressure or client interruption. My camera and I became closer. I had time to capture moments that would otherwise have passed unnoticed.

As a family we relaxed, we rejuvenated, we spent peaceful time together, we thought of how the world could heal if we permanently reduced the stress levels in our lives.

Wishful thinking maybe, as people rushed to earn another dollar as soon we were released from Lockdown – too soon forgetting the amazing benefits of a short time of tranquility!

This work represents the pleasure I get from our small city garden, thoroughly enjoying what nature provides us. A reward for trying to help nature in a small way. These photos show light, shape, texture, colour without the impact of mankind.

Lily stems lose their leaves
A quiet walk on a cool autumn morning
hat crisp breeze off the mountain
Is the kind of chill to give my
Steady beating heart
a momentary thrill
As I take a bigger breath
to gain the top of the hill.
Avoiding others lead by their dogs
Who walk the early hours
This is what I need
To become present
I walk to save my sanity
I set my sights for home now
Like a bullet from a gun
Along the straight, increased pace
Still a walk, not a run.

At home waiting for me
Breakfast cereal and tea
All the morning rituals
Making up my life.
In our back yard
Lily stems lose their leaves
Flowers long since spent
Hydrangea blooms desiccated
On newly budded stems.

I know this peace will not last
We will get on the treadmill again
Perhaps a little wiser
And hopefully kinder
Than in days of the past.

Like the oak tree
With borer in its boughs
If we want to live
We must heal ourselves
Now; From within.

Cutting off, and burning
our diseased limbs

— Anne Bayliss

Brenda Cash

It Just Is

#5 By a Thread series

Mixed media—$800

During Lockdown I began a series of works inspired by the expression ‘Hanging by a thread’. It is my personal response, an epiphany of sorts, that I experienced.

I found it surprising to see my immediate family (bubble mates) struggle with restricted movements and craving social interaction. My difficulty was their constant presence and my craving to be alone. It was at this point I realised years of anxiety and depression had lead me to unplug from the world as much as I possibly could. My self-imposed restrictions were my own ‘lockdown’. This way of being had crept up on me like darkness. The moment this registered was incredibly confronting.


This painting is my description of that moment; a depiction of living in a bubble and watching the daily news updates every single day at 1pm. Devouring graphs and projections of where this disease would take the world and then in the same day planting a garden to grow in this unknown future. Spiralling in and out, round and round we go. I tried to capture those serene moments along with the turmoil in this one piece. It’s not all bad and it’s not all good. It just is.

Margaret Scott

Cape Gooseberries Under Lockdown


I spent many tranquil hours in Lockdown gardening and painting knowing there would be no interruptions from the outside world. The weather was perfect so it was wonderful to get up early in the morning and clear away the last of the autumn crop of pumpkins, tomatoes, potatoes, chilli. Hidden in the weeds were beautiful branches filled with Cape Gooseberries.

As a child these had always been a favourite in my mother’s garden and so when they self seeded and came up in my own garden I let them run riot amongst the lemon trees so that I could have treats when I was in that part of the garden. The longer they are left locked up in their beautiful cases the sweeter they are to eat. These ones I picked and photographed. My daughter Tali saw the photo and suggested they would make a wonderful painting. I felt that I would find the subject matter too difficult but decided, for a challenge, I would attempt to paint them.

It is amazing the stages this fruit goes through from locked under a green casing to the netting that stays on for months still locking in the delicious gold fruit.

This painting was difficult, but I painted eight other works in Lockdown and kept returning to this one way after Lockdown had finished. The others were all framed and hanging in an exhibition and I was still working on the overlaying of paint and the intricate filigree that was needed to complete this work.

It is nice to work on something completely different and as with most of us Lockdown pushed us out of our comfort zone to experience another way of living.

This painting did that for me as well. Cape Gooseberries under Lockdown taught me a lot… for instance, how to persevere as an artist and complete and work through something new and more challenging than my normal way of working.

Donald Buglass

2 of Hearts

 Oil on repurposed board—$450

It was a cathartic interruption. A change-down in gears and an opportunity to re-evaluate my art practice. I enjoyed the absence of international travel, the cultural dislocation and the stress of airports, flights and trying to break-even on a shoestring budget.

C-19 Lockdown didn’t have such a drastic impact – more like a retirement rehearsal. I valued the quiet, did stuff around the house and in the garden; we went for walks, played cards – I played lots of Solitaire. The time together was good, hence my painting.

Rhonda Crawford

Changing Times


This work reflects how nature is constantly evolving.  New life is represented in the flower pods getting ready to burst open and fulfil their purpose.  Die-back in the leaves reflects returning to the earth recycling.

We, as humans, are surrounded by nature. If we take the time to look it is truly breathtaking... allowing us to reflect and enjoy. 

I try to create a view so you feel you are there, part of it.

Covid gave us all a time to catch our breath, while forcing change on many.  This did, however, allow ‘change and time’ for some.

Hayley Elliott-Kernot


Mixed mdia on board—$500

Through Lockdown I was unable to access most of my art supplies or buy more so I was forced to experiment with other art mediums that I had stored away. It was a great opportunity to work beyond my comfort zone and develop artwork I wouldn’t otherwise create. I usually paint in oils but over Lockdown I worked largely with black ink and the limited selection of acrylic paints I had. 

Journey was created using acrylics, texture pastes and old oil painting pallets cut into squares. I do not often paint landscapes or use texture so it was a great time to try new styles. 

Lockdown for me was challenging but enjoyable. My partner and I had just moved into our first house two days prior; we had no internet, no tv, very limited heating and a leaky house with a burst sewage pipe. One of the parts we found the funniest was our cat who would wander in and out of the house through the gaps in the walls rather than using the cat flap... we were wrapped in a lot of blankets over that time!

But we were happy and it showed me just how little material things mattered. I did not miss tv, I hardly missed the internet, except for being able to video-chat my family, and having a bookcase or frying pans were certainly not essential to happiness. 

We enjoyed it, it was a peaceful way of life I have never experienced.

Robyn Smaller

Covid Lady

Mixed media—$90

Covid for me felt extraordinarily surreal. The ‘no time limits casual reality’ was awesome, but I did run out of my necessity in life… clay! So painting everything and anything was my MO. Thus, my Covid Lady and renewed kitchen.

Dwayne Duthie

Second Chance

Acrylic on linen—$250

We all experienced Lockdown in different ways, and some found it harder than others. A lot of us seemed to seek comfort and support in a full house of families and pets while also maintaining friendships as much as we could virtually.

This painting on linen depicts a simple story of an individual who spent quarantine alongside her dog, as for some that was the case. Family and friends may have been completely out of reach physically. This could have caused others to feel more isolated than those who were accompanied by others. Regardless of the tales behind our Lockdown experiences, we are still yet to forget, as it is still present everywhere in the world and the future is still incredibly unpredictable.

Maryanne Van Roij

Lockdown Liberty

Ceramic—$200 each

Just before Lockdown I experienced a very stressful and tumultuous time trying to get our daughter Sarah home from London before our borders closed. Once she finally got home we then had to deal with her testing positive for Covid after suddenly losing her sense of taste and smell (which has not fully returned to this day). Once all the drama settled I was finally able to relax and enjoy this unprecedented time and initially started making ceramic Covids as a form of catharsis. It was a fantastic time for our family. Our enforced bubble was a great opportunity for our grown-up children to reconnect and gave us all a well-earned break from our busy lives. 

I have titled this piece Lockdown Liberty because, instead of it being a time of enforced confinement, I found it to be a liberating experience and it has given us all a chance to reflect on what is really important in life.

Amy Taunt

Stratford in Lockdown

Photography slideshow—NFS

The first week of level 4 Lockdown was hard for me as I plan everything sometimes months in advance, so it was very unusual for me to have no plans at all for at least four weeks. During Lockdown everyone was allowed outside to exercise close to home while maintaining social distancing.

I exercised every day… either a walk or bike ride. After a week I started taking photos each day. It was weird seeing Stratford so empty and no cars around. I have always had an interest in documentary photography but have been more focused on landscape photography in the last few years. After Lockdown I decided I would put my photographs into a slideshow as a record to look back on in years to come.


Jan Huijbers

Pandemic power

 Acrylic on canvas—$1900

This work symbolises the period of Stage 4 Corona Lockdown. Scanning the painting is like watching a very unrealistic and surreal world ruled by the phantom called COVID-19. The squares represent Level 4 quarantine days and the green areas are the so-called bubbles of the protected areas you live in.

Dimphy De Vaan

Reaching Out

Mixed media—$395


Mixed media—$195

Reflection on lockdown:
Lonely people, hidden in their bubbles behind closed doors.
Lonely, living with others or living alone.
Not able to reach out. Not able to be reached. Not able to be seen.
Further from support than ever before.
People eager to support. Not able to reach out to those in need.
More barriers blocking the way.

Gatherings not able to be held. 
No hug, no friendly tap on the shoulder, no handshake.
Not even a listening ear other than by phone or computer.
Are people thirsty for touch? Do we need to see each other?
How do we share joy? How do we grieve? How do we support each other?

Alert levels change.
Some people adjust easily while others have trouble getting back to their new ‘normal’.
Some people find it hard to break out of their safe bubble and want to stay in longer.
Others can’t wait to get out!
Do you keep your shield up or do you let your shield down?
Strong feelings are provoked.
We question how to behave.

Be aware of each other. What is their need? 
Reach out, and if you feel rejection, reflect on that. 
They may not be rejecting you.
Maybe it reflects their safe bubble, their shield is still up.
Maybe they need to know you are there for them, unconditionally.
Maybe more support is needed to get rid of their black dog.
Or maybe they just need more time or support to feel more comfortable and safe outside their bubble.

Wayne Morris

My Corona

Mixed media assemblage—$300

I loved Lockdown. It suited my personality and I had a shed full of junk. What could be better? But then a problem — I ran out of glue and fastenings and I didn’t love Lockdown any longer. I couldn’t get to the hardware store to get more.

I found myself working frantically for the first weeks then I slowed and became aware that not everyone was enjoying being locked down. There were those alone in their bubbles, there were those who disappeared down ‘rabbit holes’ into all sorts of conspiracy theories; there were those who were buying into the fake news; there were those who had family and friends who died.

It didn’t take long to realise how lucky – not sure it was luck – that we, in Aotearoa, had leaders sensible enough to follow the science and avoid the horrors that many living overseas were experiencing. I would be happy if we had Lockdown for three months every two years. A completely selfish view, I understand, but I loved Lockdown.

Jeanette Verster

Lockdown Lexicon and Numbers

Oil pastel, acrylic and ink on paper. Artist book—$240

When the country went into Lockdown tuning into the daily 1pm COVID Update became a ritual in many households. The news did not change much from day to day; it merely became repetition of words and phrases, which pre-Lockdown, barely featured in our personal vocabularies.

This new lexicon became part of our everyday conversations and the daily infection update (cases + probable cases) was a focus point for many. This book consists of dated postcards, one side reflecting daily new cases and probable cases with randomly chosen ‘Covid’ words on the flip-side.

Rachael Davies

(from left to right)  P.P.E, Upcycling, Stockpiling, Hi – Daily Exercise, Travel Essentials

Ceramics—$150 each

February 28 marked the first reported case of Covid 19 in New Zealand. During this time at home with family, I created sculptures, baked more food than I have ever done from scratch, walked daily and watched global and national news with both fascination and fear of the unknown. In search of a sense of humour, I created these five Lockdown pieces. Each one represents a snapshot of human behaviour I observed. I focused on the ‘lighter side of life’ with a sense of humour to protect us from Covid 19 around the globe, and our adjustment to Lockdown Level 4.

The process: I always start with a sketch, planning the final result. For these pieces I used a porcelain mix of mid/high-fire clay. Wording was embossed and inlaid with contrasting oxide and underglaze on the bubble and  finished in a clear glaze. The application of oxides, glazes and acrylics was used on the individual pieces. 

A New Plymouth-based clay artist, originally from the UK, I have lived in Taranaki with my husband and two daughters since 2014.

Anne Holloway

New Zealand Fauna


Creatively I was needing a new challenge and along came Lockdown and rocketed me into action.

Lockdown became my absolute learning, creative and joyful ‘hub’ presenting me with unlimited growth potential.

As there were no exterior interruptions, I was able to focus morning, noon and night on my new ‘addiction’.

I happened upon the world of ‘Printing Without a Press' and I was hooked! What Joy! What Fun! What Expression! What Possibilities!

Working with ink and a brayer has its own challenges; too much, too little, too thick, too thin.
From the beginning NZ botanicals, fauna, feathers and icons were my choice of subject. Creativity, spontaneity and the unexpected — that is the real fun! 

Paul Burgham

Bush Fire

Mosaic and stained glass light—$3850

This light was born when I cast the concrete base 17 years ago in 2003. I took it up again in 2019 and made the four jarrah side pieces. This light was going to have a kōwhai tree as the shade. Then in June the Aussie bushfires raged, with four family members in Aussie, one very close to the fires. So I decided to make a bushfire shade. When Lockdown began I took up the challenge and started on the mosaic base. It’s been a long journey. The tree trunks were cast in August using pewter and small amounts of printer’s lead (metal) which has antimony in it for its strength. September saw the shade begin with the stained glass work running right through to December.

Renate Verbrugge

Zoom 2020

Carrara marble and copper wire—$4200

Lockdown didn’t change my life dramatically.  I work every day in my studio anyway, so I continued my daily routine. I did miss the contact with friends. So Zoom or Skype became an important way of communication. Obviously, this sculpture is inspired by the new normal.

Oriah Rapley

2020 Year of the White Fantail

 Black basalt waka, white marble fantail—$2200

In amongst the dominant headlines was this little treasure, nature surprising us, uplifting with grace and beauty, a white piwakawaka in our own backyard.

Paul Hutchinson

Self-Portrait with Face Mask

 Oil on board—$3000

The Covid Lockdown didn’t make much difference to me.  As a working artist I’m accustomed to spending most of my days at home, apart from walking the dog on the local beach.

As the pandemic rapidly spread, it seemed clear to me that this was one of those watershed moments in human history. Never before, as far as I can ascertain, has there been such a dramatic and singular global phenomenon that has united the world in a strange kind of shared angst and fear. I thought it was curious and disturbing that the vernacular being used seemed to equate the pandemic with war.

I think I started my Self-Portrait with Face Mask on the same day Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand would go into Level 3 Lockdown. Self-portraits have always been an important aspect of my work and it seemed pretty clear to me that the image of a masked human face, with all the inherent alienation and fear, would become the defining icon of this time.

Stuart Morris

Alone in the Hills

Oil on canvas—$758

Alone in the hills was painted after Lockdown but it is part of a series I began during Lockdown exploring states of being alone. It is a series that I’m still finding the inspiration to create artworks for. It comes naturally to me because I am hermitic and often choose to stay home rather than going out and being social.


Dale Copeland

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Assemblage of found objects—$1400

When you spin the turntable, the figures and the compass spin, looking forwards, looking outwards, but the magnetic needle returns to its starting position, pointing north.

No amount of travel will take you away from your own reality.

Tracey Mather

Back to Basics

Styrene on board, resined—$299

I admit that I enjoyed Covid Lockdown and understood that it was imperative for our country to keep the pandemic at bay.

I was fortunate to have fresh fruit and veges delivered weekly and consumables delivered as required. 

I live beside a public walkway and it was lovely to see lots of families smiling and waving and showing the youngsters that I had toy bears hanging in the window. 

The time went by quickly as I have a large garden and workshop for my art. Fine days gardening, wet days thinking about art, but not necessarily doing much about following ideas through. Occasionally getting the impulse...

Not being able to break my solo bubble until Level 2, I missed my family and was so pleased when they were finally able to visit. The simple things of life became important once again and evoked fond memories of my childhood.

This piece of art symbolises where I began my art journey six years ago.

Ceri Chisholm

Artistic Circles

Acrylic and coloured pencils on canvas—$600

Like many artists I am used to being on my own and working in isolation. However, being in Lockdown created a different kind of atmosphere… one where total self-reliance and the limitations of materials on hand created a fresh challenge.

Having returned from overseas and in self-isolation, even before the start of the countrywide Lockdown, I could not stock up on materials. This meant I had to reuse an existing canvas and a small range of paint supplies.

Using the bones of an earlier abstract image was also an added limitation that reinforces the idea that we all had to make the best of the situation. The aim was to express the idea of being in Lockdown. I reflected on what it was like for me and perhaps others, unused to being alone, might be feeling during an enforced separation from family and friends. In the process I was able to both edit out and add elements, change the colours and textures (sometimes several times) and, I think, create a better work.

The circles represent both containment and isolation as do the prominent white lines which divide the canvas into a grid of unequal rectangles. Separation is also suggested by the abrupt colour changes as the lines disrupt the shapes. The cool colour range reflects a subdued mood, and the static quality of the image evokes the limbo that Lockdown created.

Rhonda Bunyan

Face in the Window

Archival print with museum glass—$1600

Lockdown, in many ways, was a welcome break for me… being able to slow down, gather my thoughts and re-evaluate my place and role in this Cosmos. I was able to stay up later at night and sleep in a little later in the morning. 

My old recipe books came out and I searched for easy bread-making recipes. My husband was delighted with my foray into the world of dough delights such as Chelsea Buns and Sally Lun Buns. We had our son home with us and he was a constant delight. So our bubble was a happy one. I was the nominated gopher, happy to be sent off to the supermarket and on other important errands. I missed seeing our family, especially the grandchildren, and yes, I will admit, I started looking forward to normality and returning to work.

Whilst I was fortunate to be in good health and have no money worries there were others who found this time difficult. Elderly folk and those with mental health issues were hit harder than most, with anxiety, uncertainty and isolation a potent cocktail for unease and worry.

This photograph, snapped in Wellington, shows the face of an elderly woman who is able to observe the outside world from her perch, but is unable to partake of it.

Ashlee Robinson


Acrylic on canvas—$660

Tūhuratanga meaning:

(noun) discovery, disclosure, revelation, investigation, probe. 

Tūhuratanga was created during Lockdown after I received my DNA test results. It depicts two people (maunga) coming together, investigating, discovering each other and creating a new, unique entity. The two maunga have contrasting hues, depicting my parents' ethnicity. 


Scandinavia 21%
Ireland 19%
East Slavic 6%
Magyar 5%
Italian Peninsula 7%
Greece & Balkans <2%
Polynesia 41%
East India <1%

Melissa McCullough


Acrylic, glue, glitter and fixative spray—$1000

This contemporary figurative piece expresses multiple elements of the pandemic. The use of glitter and bold bright colours emphasises the contrast between the subjects’ bodies and their mask-covered faces. Colours also serve to express the deep personal introspection people experienced during Lockdown. Figures from both traditional sexes are visible, although separated by distance; this being an overt reference to legally-enforced social distancing. The figures’ nudity is intended to touch on themes of sexuality, an aspect of life that was affected for many during Covid-19. Despite difficulty accessing art supplies during Lockdown, the aforementioned personal introspection and requirement to stay inside helped me grow as an artist.

Jennifer Patterson

Lockdown prints


Level 4 of Covid 19 Lockdown came with very little warning. Mentally I was trying to process what to do to occupy my mind and body and drew on some of those thoughts to get inspiration. That inspiration came from the garden. Many an hour was spent out there reflecting on the beauty and the difference in plants and their leaves.

Earlier, Stratford Village Quilters had offered up a challenge to make six postcard-size mini quilts for an upcoming exhibition.  I used that size and printed the leaves onto already hand-dyed fabric. After the printing was completed I committed myself to quilt one a day and there are 28 altogether, although not all of the postcards have a leaf print.

Most of the leaves in this piece are from my garden. Down the left hand side are gum, maple, hydrangea, and fern.  Down the right side, lemon, gingko, gum and magnolia.

I found it very satisfying to embellish each piece with french knots and beads while enjoying my pre-dinner wine each night and finally finishing them off by framing them with a black edging.

Nicholas Setteducato

The Prickly Fruits of Huntuu Huduumi

Digital collage—$550

I had the most unusual dreams during Lockdown, and so after about a week I began recording them in a red notebook that I keep at my bedside. Most mornings, I’d wake up and scribble down some indecipherable nonsense before my latest vision faded into the far corners of my subconscious. One dream in particular was more vivid than any I’ve had before or since, and every detail stayed with me when I woke up. It was like watching a movie.

This dream took place in a distant landscape somewhere on the edge of a valley between the Turquoise Mountains and the Baltic Sea. I woke up and quickly wrote down the name ‘Huntuu Huduumi’ in my red notebook, followed by the story that took place in the dream. This piece is an interpretation of the landscape from that dream, and a reflection on all of those strange mornings nestled in the warm routine of Lockdown, sheltered from the seemingly distant reality of the pandemic raging overseas.

Amy Brennan



My hand-built creations are playful, whimsical, and are inspired by memory and feelings of nostalgia.

When I was seven years old, from the warm comfort of our family home, my older brother and I watched the animated film Watership Down. I remember feeling scared, safe, sad and joyful all at the same time, while the haunting imagery of those doe-eyed characters danced across the television screen. 

Reflecting on that memory, and absorbed by similar feelings, several hand-built figurative rabbits emerged from the clay. Fiver the last to appear, and possibly the most emotive. Sad, scared, tired, but full of hope and kindness… grateful to have found a warm, safe home. Fiver represents a contemplation of the difficult and often contradictory emotions brought on by the challenge of life in Lockdown.

Maree Liddington

Rendezvous (detail)

Handwoven cotton—$465

A meeting of colour and pattern: I love working with colour, and have often admired the colour gamps (samples) pictured in weaving journals.

I bought several cones of mercerised cotton two years ago with the intention of giving it a try.  But it never happened; there was always something else on the go and this was something that would take concentrated effort to thread up on the loom.

Then Lockdown happened.  Perfect timing and an opportunity to give this a try.

A Gamp is ‘a systematic arrangement of warp threadings or warp colour sequences in sections of equal size’.  It is a great way to learn about colour, structure and pattern.

There is a story (not proven) that the word ‘gamp’ was derived from the umbrella carried by Dickens' character Sairey Gamp in the novel Martin Chuzzlewit.  Apparently, Mrs Gamp’s umbrella was multi-coloured!

The patterns I have used are variations of Shadow Weave.  Dark and light threads alternate in the warp and the weft (2 shuttles are used). In this weave, shapes like diamonds and triangles can be combined with rectangles and squares in endless ways. The design potential for shadow weave on eight shafts is truly amazing!

I took five days to thread the loom, doing the dark threads first then overlaying the colours.  I checked and checked and checked. I didn’t want to make any mistakes.

Lockdown was a perfect time to do this project. I could consistently weave every day without interruption.


Vicki Taylor

Self-Worth Buckets

Pyrography (woodburning)—$2900

I gathered inspiration for this work from thoughts about tradition and what it meant to me. The path led me to think about the concept of inter-generational self-worth;  how, if you feed a little praise, appreciation and values to your bucket, it can be filled.  Filling up your bucket with your own self-worth causes it to overflow, the contents trickling down into future generations.

Maree Burnnand

Choose Life

Wool, embroidery and gold leaf—$800

Lockdown gave most of us time to reflect. For me that involved questioning how easy it is to fall into routine day in and day out.

It’s very easy to take the safe route, become set in our ways, stagnate, but it’s just as easy to step outside the comfort zone. Yes, the risk is greater, but so are the rewards. So wake up, choose to live, seek new experiences, just choose life!

My Chemical Romance – Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge and The Black Parade
AFI – Burials
The Cure – 40th Anniversary Live


Suzan Kostanich

Shrinking Violet

Felt and kozo paper—$200

Gaye Atkinson

Crackle Pot

Copper matt raku, thrown—$95

Landform at Sunset

Hand-built, copper matt raku—$125

Rebecca Beyer

When We Could Gather and Touch

Reduction lino print—$300

The period of Lockdown was so strange in terms of creativity... so much time to create, but very little outside stimulation to spark the imagination. My inspiration comes from everyday observations of people going about their lives. So, I spent time in my studio pouring over old art books. A small reproduction of Matisse’s The Dance from 1910 caught my eye.  I was drawn to the image because the dancers were so carefree.  They had come together in a group and were holding hands.  Oh the joy of not being afraid to touch one another.  It seemed the opposite to what we were experiencing as a community locked away, not even daring to acknowledge one another on rare trips to the supermarket.

I decided to create my own dancers using lino-cut printing. This seemed a fitting medium as you must cut and take something away to create the image. The work represents the longing for connection people have, taken for granted, but missed terribly when taken away.  For me, although there were many ways to connect with people online and some areas of the community quickly adapted to this, it was no substitute to spending time together in the same space.

Grethe Hansen



Looking back now it is amazing how quickly you forget. Especially if it hasn’t damaged your life permanently.

As a farmer’s wife I did not find Lockdown too different from normal life... at least for the first few days. Then it hit. No flour and no going anywhere when you are 70, which I am, plus a bit.

No getting together with the family living next door, which were son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren home from school and university. Only Skype.

Then the reality of it all. Job losses, financial problems for many. Not seeing other parts of family and friends. Art wasn’t important at that stage. Just the usual. But phoning friends felt good.

I remember the 1pm news as a must-watch. The numbers starting to go down after the fist couple of weeks. From 80 something to 57. Feeling proud of what New Zealand was achieving, and the numbers going up in Europe and Iran.

Remember the story about the toilet paper? Crazy! Not being able to get a WOF for the car, first time in 55 years driving without a legal car. The mail letters from USA taking nearly three months to get here. But they was small problems.

Our first death in New Zealand was hard to accept. We were no better than anyone else now.

Luckily for New Zealand we got off lightly, but it still hurt for the families, and the numbers in the rest of the world just kept growing. Looking back it was pretty awful. We drove to Stratford for flu vaccinations and no other cars in the whole of Stratford. Weird. Art started to have a face. Should it be dark and depressing or looking for better times. My image of the New Zealand flag just hanging in there and dominated by the yellow image was the image I felt for New Zealand at the time.

Margaret Street

Looking Outside


Inside, looking outside.

Total silence, no traffic. Is there a war? Is some kind of fallout on its way?

I look to the skies, trying to make out a dark cloud approaching.

We can hear the birds! So many birds! Must be a good sign.

But we stay inside, waiting in silence, looking out. It is coming.

And now it has passed. 

We are so lucky, we give thanks. Grateful. A cup of tea.


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