How Does Your Garden Grow? The Colourful Work Of Emma Prill.


ARTbop contributor writer and photographer Lee Switzer followed the progression of artist Emma Prill as she constructed this in-house garden of sighs and smiles at the Tauranga Art Gallery.

Emma Prill preparing more pieces for her Colourfield installation.

Splitting and splicing oblongs with ovals, diagonals with dappled ripples and morphing colours. An array of material stored throughout Emma Prill’s home and garage until the art gallery venue was available.

The raised garden. Jamie Coxon upper left, Emma Prill lower right.

“Where do you want these to go?”

        “Hmmmm, to the right and down.”

 “And this one?”


Opening night for Colourfield. The kaleidoscopic formations in 3D broadcast whimsical tones and musical scores to the eye.

Emma Prill, a bit nervous, thrilled, expresses her appreciation to the audience and those who are not present. Fun and quick humour always present.

Friends enjoy the artists’ humour.

Jannine Riley and daughter Emma Prill.  Jannine is working on an art degree at an East Coast school and will graduate next year. She says “even as a small child, Emma would pick and arrange flowers, foliage, shapes, colours. But not the usual morass of whatever was near. She chose a variety to compose her collections. It isn’t just me saying it, a neighbour said the same thing.”

Floor talk the next day. Emma Prill is animated, enthusiastic.

In addition to Jamie Coxon, she thanked Duane Moyle for expertise with the installation. She said about 100 people; children and adults, helped in some way with the project. The short time span to compose and present the exhibition meant little time for a single individual to complete the task.

The construction and completion required non-stop ongoing energy draining momemtum.

The artists’ original idea was to make each wall an individual show piece. But after talking to Tauranga Art Gallery Director Karl Chitham there was a change in concept. The new idea was to cover all walls so that each became part of a flowing wholeness. This forms an interconnected surrounding that encompasses a visually moving, interlocked experience for the visitor standing within the colourfield.

Emma Prill has a directness that captures the audiences’ attention.

Emma Prill and Karl Chitham

How to organise a workshop. Everyone can see the steps involved and supplies required or suggested.

How does your garden grow? With reams of dreams, percolating images, nurturing spirits, evolving transformations as the bud opens like arms for renewed awakening.

The gardener ended her talk with this reading from William Blakes’ Auguries of Innocence

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour. . . . .

To see Emma Prill’s neophyte artists making and painting thousands of flowers and designs, go to her Facebook page here.

To see more diversity and many paintings by the artist, check out her site here.

Emma Prill’s exhibition Colourfield is showing at the Tauranga Art Gallery until 24th February 2019.

Lee Switzer  Text and images by Lee Switzer who is a regular contributor to ARTbop. You can find examples of Lee’s photography and images, poetry, short stories, event and exhibition reviews and book reviews in the ARTbop archives. Lee is also a long-time contributor to the archives of the  Tauranga kete managed by the Tauranga City Library


ARTbop promotes

(or we think you should check this out!)

Tauranga Art Gallery for exhibitions, events and news here.

Hard to believe the Tauranga Art Gallery has already had its 10th Birthday.

All go at The Arts Junction Kati Kati – regularly changing exhibitions.  Make a point of visiting Kati Kati to see not only what’s on here but also at the wonderful boutique Western Bays Museum a short step along the road.



The next Affordable Art & Artisan Fair will be on the last Sunday of January 2019.   The Fairs are held within the Black Sheep Cafe & Restaurant complex on the last Sunday of every month 11am to 3pm.  There is heaps of parking, clean toilets and wonderful food and coffee.  There’s live music. There’s an event prize you can win.   If you would like to join the Fairs as an exhibitor/retailer of your original creativity or artisan products you can contact them at

They are sign posted along SH2 with signage to the turnoff of SH2 and Plummer’s Point Road.  You won’t be able to miss it!  Indoors over winter months and outside in the Summer.



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