Invisibility disdained: International Women’s Day 2019


“Older women especially are invisible.   I have been to parties where no one knows who I am so I am ignored until I introduce myself to someone picked at random. Immediately, word gets round, and I am surrounded by people who tell me they are my biggest fans…..”  

This was said by the late Ruth Rendell, massively successful and internationally read, crime and thriller author. I know irrespective of age, with women it’s often the packaging that’s important and we become like much used Christmas paper – there are newer less tattered alternatives. Somewhere else I read Rendell decided she would always be blonde…..  

It’s also a legacy of previous patterns of education, employment, inheritance, aging, and the usual behaviours of mature or aged women. We used to become the Nanny’s, the Grandmas, the Nanas when our role as the Mother or the “wife” dwindled away. We could be collectively ignored because we were perceived as having no economic power or societal status.

The laws governing succession to the English throne have been amended so that the order is now based on the sequence of birth. Princess Charlotte did not get bumped down by the arrival of her younger brother. It’s symptomatic of what’s been happening in the Post World War II western world. Now there’s a significant collection of talented, powerful and interesting “old women”.

To acknowledge International Women’s Day 8th March 2019 ARTbop is engaging with a number of mature women creatives. These are women who are chronologically supposed to be invisible but whose personalities and talents blast that cloak to shreds.

ARTbop’s first conversation was with Suzanne Sturrock of Whakamarama.   Suzanne is well-known as a sculptural potter. That is only one of her talents. Suzanne is an accomplished textile and fabric creative. ARTbop has taken the title of its article from Suzanne’s own description of her large, vibrant, Polynesian referenced fabric collage: Palagi Tivaivai.           ARTbop plans to publish one conversation in this series each week in REVIEWS, And, And, And.   Enjoy and of course, never assume…..!

The slider header image is part of a large, vibrantly coloured Palagi Tivaivai patterned bedspread designed and made by Suzanne Sturrock.   The image of the mosaic above is part of an large, outdoor sculpture created by Suzanne Sturrock.  Both images taken by Rosemary Balu during her conversation with Suzanne.

Rosemary Balu.           Rosemary Balu is the founding and current Managing Editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

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Winners of the 2019 Molly Morpeth Canaday Award –  John Brown, Teresa HR Lane, Danae Ripley, Lea-Anne Sheather, Esther Deans, Raewyn Martin, Adrienne Millwood, Kirsten Ferguson, Nicola McCafferty, Toby George King, Sena Park, and Mary Duggan.

Read all about the award results below, and please come along to see the exhibition in person at Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi – Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre if you are able. Open 9am-5pm on weekdays, and 10am-2pm on weekends.
Remember – you can also help to select a winner – vote for the People’s Choice Award at the gallery!

With our exhibition partners, Arts Whakatāne and Whakatane Museum and Arts.
#Whakatane #MMCA #PaintingandDrawing #NZArtAward


Mega World The Expansive Universe of Illustration    23 February – 7 July 2019
Explore the expansive universe of illustration with the Tauranga Art Gallery’s signature 2019 show, Mega World. You’ll be transported to unknown landscapes populated by strange creatures and unlikely heroes.
Shown across all five exhibition spaces you’ll experience contemporary illustration in its many forms. From picture books and comics, the sophisticated realms of science fiction and the graphic novel to the more avant-garde work of underground illustration, animation and contemporary art.
While illustration covers many genres, its essential premise is that it is the visual manifestation of a text, concept or process rendered in a way that captures the imagination and gives form to the intangible.
Mega World has something for everyone and kicks off this Saturday with the opening of Anti-heroes: The Art of Conscious Comic Book Artists
TAURANGA ART GALLERY 108 WILLOW STREET, DOWNTOWN TAURANGA  10am to 4.30pm daily  Phone 578 7933


Exhibitions change regularly in the Carlton Gallery and the Gallery is available to be hired for your show of work. (if you’re interested in exhibiting contact details are below)

The Arts Junction is open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm and 10am to 2pm Saturdays and Sundays. Located at 36 Main Road, Kati Kati   (next to the Western Bay of Plenty Museum) Phone 549 5250 or email                

CURRENTLY SHOWING AT THE CARLTON GALLERY: The Work of Paul Herbert of Waihi Beach 4 -17 March 2019. 

Artist Paul Herbert with his work

2019 Trustpower Photographic Exhibition


From 3698 competition entries, the 20 winning images are now showcased in the third annual Trustpower Photographic Exhibition!    Come and see the breathtaking winning images, presented on large-scale display boards in the Bay’s largest outdoor photographic exhibition. It’s on right now on The Strand, in Downtown Tauranga until 14 April 2019


Developed as a community gallery and retail space with lots of hard work and effort  by local creatives, the Atrium Gallery is open 11am to 5pm Wednesday to Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday.



If you have information about an upcoming arts event, exhibition or arts news you can contact ARTbop at


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