The Janus Factor 2019: forward and back


There were some creative events, places and people who stood out for ARTbop in 2019.  And while like Janus we’re looking to the future, we’re also looking to the magic of the past year.

Finally the start of a Fringe Festival.   It’s been “years” since a much younger Dhaivat Mehta floated the idea of a Fringe Festival to run in conjunction with the biennial Tauranga Arts Festival. Then it was “inappropriate” but this year the creative door opened slightly with the Fringe Village organised by The Incubator Creative Hub.  

Of course I loved the Fringe Village. Not just because I got to read my poetry while standing on the small shared stage opposite the main Incubator building but because I saw so many young people, young family people, “alternative” people participating in the event and having an amazing time. And I can only repeat what I said at the time – a wonderful investment and “return on creative funds”.  

Alf Rendell was legendary around our region. Not just because he lived so long but because he brought to us a collection of creative work that enabled comparison.   ARTbop was privileged to meet Alf at an afternoon organised by the Tauranga Historical Society in their rooms behind the Brain Watkins House in Downtown Tauranga.   Alf died at the age of 102 years on the 27th December 2019. 

Alf Rendell – Recorder of History and Change

Alf established a scholarship for Toi Ohomai students:

Toi Ohomai Alf Rendell Photography Scholarship

Alf is well-known in Tauranga; he followed his father (Robert) into photography as a 17-year old school leaver and after serving in the army during WWII, he returned home and ran the family owned photography business. A business Alf’s son also eventually took over from him.

Between 1946 and 1956 Alf had friends who were learner pilots and it was during flights with them that he discovered a passion for aerial photography. These photographs remained unpublished until a few years ago when Alf decided they could be put to better use. Alf’s 160-page book ‘Tauranga – Historic Tauranga From Above’ was published and stocked in local bookstores.

The profit has been donated to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in the form of the ‘Alf Rendell Photography Scholarship’. Each year one deserving Bachelor of Creative Industries (Tauranga) or Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Rotorua) student with a keen interest in photography will be awarded the scholarship. Students are required to submit a photography portfolio in order to apply for the scholarship.


  • Applications are open to any Bachelor of Creative Industries (Tauranga) or Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Rotorua) student
  • Open to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents only



One award of $2,000 is available.

Closing date

Application Form / More information

Application Requirements

BCI students: Please upload the following with your application to the Alf Rendell Scholarship on Google classroom (classroom code y1ayz1).

BCT students: Please upload the following to your USB with your application form.

  1. Proof of NZ Citizenship or Permanent residency (such as NZ birth certificate or passport.
  2. A current digital photography portfolio of 15-30 photographs.
  3. An explanation about your portfolio (no more than 400 words).
  4. A brief statement on how photography will be part of your of your intended career.
  5. A brief statement on how you will use the scholarship money.

Contact information

Executive Support (Scholarships)

0800 86 46 46

Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

Executive Support (Scholarships), Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Private Bag 12001, Tauranga

The Bay of Plenty Times has a video of the informal event at which Alf’s scholarship was announced at Toi Ohomai.

I arrived in the Western Bay of Plenty shortly after the hard-won Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga had opened.  It was a focus and a haven for a newcomer.  A wonderful community of supporters and staff.  And I believe it’s grown in strength and style.   I’ve seen so much there, some of it challenging.  In 2019 I was blown away by the current collection of the work of Kelcy Taratoa.  The exhibition continues until 1st March 2020.  You can also see the indoor exhibition of the work of internationally acclaimed Mr G – Graham Hoete.

Every year I get invited to the end of year exhibition of the work of the graduating students of Toi Ohomai Bachelor of Creative Industries.  The 2019 exhibition showcased diversity of style, talent and individuality. It’s inspirational not only for the work on display but the creative people you meet and their determination to complete the BCI.The translucent  irregularity of the ceramic work of Anya Fischer

I watched the careful deconstruction of the old district hall on the Te Puna Corner.  It was sad, despite the thorough conservation of as much of the timber as could be sustainably reused.    The Hall had been a focus for a vibrant and creative rural community.  After some delay the “new” Te Puna Hall is well on its way to completion.  Last April the Te Puna Anzac Hikoi commenced from the Hall site.  I was given a cup of soup and an Anzac biscuit by a team of ladies who told me “this was the first meal on the site of the new hall”.   We then walked down to the Maramatanga Park.

One of the treats of 2019 was being invited to join a family watching their young daughter participate in her dance school production “A Modern Alice”.   This was another inspirational event bringing back memories of endless hours of practice to be “a flame” and a “swan” ……  Loved the Mad Hatter and wondered how some of the really young performers remembered all of the programme.You can contact the dance school

I almost cried when I walked back into one of my regular childhood haunts – the Auckland Art Gallery.  I caught the bus up.Loved the blackboard…I followed a group of school students writing perceptive comments about international leaders – they got cleaned off.I went up to see an exhibition at Black Asterisk in Ponsonby Road – opposite is another gallery  and art space, Studio One.  This creative complex is based in the former Newton Police Barracks and you can still see the cells of the gaol.

I also went over the hill into the Waikato on several occasions to Cambridge and Morrinsville.   So much going on.  Found Bay of Plenty locals exhibiting in major festivals.Isaac Weston of Re.Work.It with some of the examples of his garden art creativity.  Love the Wallace Gallery at Morrinsville and the huge historic hotel on one of the main street corners – Nottingham Castle.

The school in our Upper Whakamarama district is developing a wider community focus.  It holds an end of year prizegiving in the Community Centre/Hall over the road. Nothing has changed since I sat in another Hall a while ago and watched this generation of parents.  It was magical.  

And the school was the place of my 2019 standout highlight – my participation in Te Wananga o Aotearoa te reo Maori course.   Not just a language lesson but an insight into the reality of local history and the privilege of whole weekend experiences of Marae stays. This course isn’t your usual academic experience because it involves the talents, goodwill and effort of so many members of local Maori communities.

The beautiful Te Whetu-o-Te Rangi wharenui at Te Whetu Marae Welcome Bay.

And finally looking back  at two things I’m absolutely delighted to see.  The opening of Okorore at the Historic Village in the Faulkner House.


The development of Creative Korero. So superbly presented and with wonderful content.

The sky is clear today. Yesterday the shared antipodean haze hung over us. It was cold and grey – conditions which would have been welcomed in incinerated Australia. The wind is forcing down the trees I can see outside my window. Pushing them to meet the ground. Letting us all know who holds the power in 2020.   If I close my eyes the wind sounds like the sea. Whooshing and slapping.

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.


Rotorua+Hamilton+Taupo+Tauranga:- Mature professional visual artist and arts educator is available for house sitting from 01st February 2020.   Non-smoking, non-drinking. Experienced former home-owner, gardener and small pet owner.        Contact:




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Te Rangi Haupapa – a woven history

19 October 2019 – 8 March 2020

Commemorating the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Gate Pa, Te Rangi Haupapa – a woven history approaches concepts around colonisation and the aftermath of the land wars in the Bay of Plenty, specifically through a Te Āo Māori lens.

Two contrasting spaces aligned with the gender elements of Māoridom, offer insight into Aotearoa New Zealand’s tumultuous past and the intergenerational healing that continues to be explored by many of our contemporary artists today. The exhibition includes contemporary artists Brett Graham and Rachael Rakena, Tawhai Rickard, James Ormsby, Nikau Hindin, Greg Semu, Te Marunui Hotene and Sarah Hudson with tāonga on loan from Tauranga Heritage Collection and The Elms.


Poi awe, Collection of The Elms Photograph courtesy of the Bay of Plenty Times

In partnership with The Elms and the Tauranga Heritage Collection, on display for the first time, are archaeological findings from around the Bay of Plenty – tāonga and everyday items that depict an intricate artistic practice, and a very conscious way of living, deeply ingrained in spiritual practices.
The concept of duality is woven within Aotearoa New Zealand history, as two cultures at odds living as one inevitably would be in opposition. However, prior to colonisation, the concept was deeply ingrained in Māori civilisation, and ways of being – duality not being at odds, but rather – complementary, harmonising, balancing each other.

Whakapapa, the intricate genealogical understanding of Māori connection, is a deeply spiritual practice that aligned human lineage with the spiritual realm of the deities. Through this, it is apparent that the duality of the male and female element significantly affected all practices and roles within Māori society.
Alongside these significant findings from around the Bay of Plenty, are works by contemporary artists who not only delve into these notions themselves, but whose practices aim to revitalise and showcase traditional practices. The weaving practices of Māori, particularly tukutuku are well known as intricate pattern work with spiritual symbolism woven throughout. Inspired by this practice tikanga Māori and thousands of years of heritage reframe the relatively recent arrival of Western colonisation and the interlaced web of encounters, interactions and assimilation.

In collaboration with The Tauranga Heritage Collection of the Tauranga City Council and The Elms Foundation.
With support from the Sheila Morgan Trust and The Flooring Room.

AND DO NOT MISS WALKING SLOWLY UP THE GALLERY STAIRS  –  I can’t find the artist details for this vibrant “mural” just at the moment but I’ll publish it asap. 


The Corner Shop NZ





Walk Mauao

Visit Tauranga Art Gallery

Visit The People’s Gallery at the Historic Village

Okorore at the Historic Village

Meet Cindy of Cindy Lou Vintage Snodgrass Road Te Puna

Visit The Elms

Check out The Incubator Creative Hub

Catch a cake at Love Rosie

Visit The Art Lounge in Willow Street

Boutique recycle to support the work of Turning Point Trust. Last Sunday of the month at the Historic Village 9am to 12noon. Cash only.

Walk the Puketoki Reserve

Check out the Morrinsville Country Market

Check out the beautiful artisan craftsmanship of Barb Hudson of Barisa at Atrium Gallery, Whakamarama.

Catch a jam session at The Black Sheep Whakamarama

Comvita Honey products at Paengaroa

Mauao the ubiquitous guardian of Pilot Bay the quiet side of the ocean

Weekly Sunday market at Waihi Beach

 The Arts Junction at Katikati




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