Art + Body Creative Studio and Gallery – Art Maori and the Fiona Pardington exhibition


ART + BODY CREATIVE STUDIO & GALLERY on Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui lurks on the fringe of the inner Mount shopping centre. Its gallery wall space and small display containers are within a multi-use area which includes the traditional Maori moko and body art studio of Studio Director and artist Julie Paama-Pengelly; a beauty bar, espresso bar and seating areas.

Today I’m calling by to see the work of Fiona Pardington. It’s photographs and they are amazing. I have to spend a considerable amount of time looking into the depths of each photographic composition. I get the same need to peer into the pictures that I had visiting European museums and galleries years and years ago. These photographic works are very detailed and deceptive despite their initial old-master style presentation. They are combinations and placement of the conventional and the bizarre.

After making the rounds of this concise collection I decide my favourites are “Still Life with Snapper Skeleton, Pink Rambler Rose and a Shark’s Purse, 2013” and “Still Life with precious Trash, Heru, White Seabird’s Feather and Paper, Nautilus Shell 2013”. This latter for me an appealing less-coloured image. I like the intense contrast of dark and light.

There’s biographical information for the highly qualified, award-winning artist Fiona Pardington on Two Rooms is a contemporary art gallery in inner Auckland. Take a look at the “about” section of their site while you’re reading about Fiona.

I ask if “Julie’s here” and a medically garbed young woman appears – the sought after traditional tattooist Julie Paama-Pengelly. Her current client has come down from Auckland for his moko and traditional body art. So good to finally meet her and I let her get back to one aspect of her professional work.

A young man leaves the seated group. He’s driven his friend down from Auckland. He’s internationally exhibiting artist Jimmy James Kouratoras. (Jimmy has also exhibited at Art+Body Gallery) Jimmy lives around the corner from where I lived in Auckland. He gives me his card and I comment on the geographic associations of his surname. He talks about his background; his work and his exhibitions. He’s off overseas again within weeks of the time I speak with him. He’s so good to talk with. It makes my visit to Art + Body memorable.

I’ve been on-line and looked at his site. Most probably the highly coloured and patterned back of the business card Jimmy gave me says everything about his art and design.

Make sure you take a look at
He’s also on pinterest at
Art+Body Gallery seems to me to be allowing us to regularly view outstanding contemporary art work. During the week there is ample available free street parking around the Studio.

Art+Body Creative Studio, 229A Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui 3116, +64 7 213 2213
021 331 072

Rosemary Balu


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