Sculpture Being ‘Laid’ in Katikati: an article by Birgitt Shannon


People who visit this year’s NZ Mural Contest and Arts Festival in Katikati, Saturday 30th September to Saturday 7th October will have the opportunity to see an amazing new sculpture by local artist John Ferguson.

The name of the sculpture is “The Future Laid in the Past”. ‘It is about remembering and valuing the past and supporting and cherishing the future. The egg is made from white marble chips, dust, white cement, a concoction of polymers and other secret ingredients. The nest is made from a collection of agricultural machinery parts from Katikati farms, says John.’

John has a background in design, working most of his adult life in the signage industry, specializing in pictorials, air brush work, gold leaf and 3D logos and forms.

Whilst living in Eastern Europe in the mid 90’s he designed and manufactured a range of gifts for the home, that included wood, ceramic and iron products.

John works in stone, steel, aluminium and wood but has also worked with more unusual objects like buckets. His sculpture “Blooming Buckets” is 5500mm x 1950mm (approx.) and made of aluminium (paint finish) and plastic.

Blooming Buckets a sculpture by John Ferguson

John evokes emotion and tells stories through his art. People emerge from his sculptures such as “Storm Cloud” a swamp kauri wood carving

Storm Cloud a sculpture by John Ferguson

and “Blissful Pair” which is composite marble on a jarrah seat.

A contented pair a sculpture by John Ferguson

Subtle hints of the human figure, seen in man-made objects and within Nature, are recurring themes in my work,’ says John. ‘I am drawn to the movement, shape and warm, rich colours naturally inherent in wood and stone—and to the powerful strength of steel and aluminium.’

To find out more about John and to see his amazing sculptures go to his website or email him at 

Birgitt Shannon:  I was born in Geelong, Australia and moved to Katikati with my husband Gerry in 2013. I started painting at a very young age and in my twenties attended night classes at the Geelong Fine Art School.  My art is continually changing, evolving. As I paint the work before me takes on a life of its own and I never know exactly what it’s going to look like when it’s finished. This is the thing about painting that thrills me. I start with a simple idea like pongas and something inside me runs with it.Since arriving in New Zealand circles have featured in most of my work. For me circles are female, soft and spiritual…they are eternal life and love.Over the years I have had many solo and group exhibitions and have sold dozens of paintings in Australia and New Zealand. I was lucky enough to be chosen to paint a cow for the Morrinsville Herd of Cows Street Art Project which is standing outside the Morrinsville Museum. I also painted the large planter pots beside the BNZ Bank in Katikati as part of the 2015 NZ Mural Competition and Arts Festival.  I recently sold a painting that is now hanging in a Research Centre at The Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles.

All my work can be found on my website or you can follow my facebook page at

BIRGITT’S WORK CAN BE SEEN IN ‘FRIENDS’  EXHIBITION:   (These friends are a group of five Katikati based artists!)

Well known Katikati artists join in exhibition at Harry Maddox, Katikati

The exhibition will be held at Harry Maddox Jewellers, 18 Main Road, Katikati, where there is a modern gallery space.

It will be open Saturday 30th Sept – Saturday 7th Oct

Sat & Sun 9:00 – 4:00, Mon – Fri 9:00 – 4:30

One of the artists will be available for a chat Sat 30th, Sun 1st, Thurs 5th, Fri 6th, and Sat 7th, from 10:00 – 4:00. We look forward to seeing you there.


Coming up at the end of September – the NZ Mural Contest & Festival

Check out Birgitt’s article about what’s coming up in the NZ Mural Contest



Get ready for two Auckland based tribute bands hitting Totara Street Saturday 30th September 2017

What: Funkadelic Monks & Lounge Apes

Where: Totara St

When: Saturday, September 30th

and check out the uPflash in ARTbop alternative!


2017 Rotorua Museum Art Awards Exhibition of Finalists Judges Selection of Works

Until: Friday, 6 October 2017
Venue: Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts CentreTime: 10am – 4pm

Price: Free entry

Highlighting the exceptional talent of artists throughout the Bay of Plenty, this exhibition will showcase winners and finalists from the 2017 Rotorua Museum Art Awards.

Kereama Taepa has won out over 148 other entries from across the Bay of Plenty to take out the $10,000 Rotorua Museum Supreme Art Award with his work Bicultural Dialogue I. Judge Emma Bugden said what set this work apart for her was its simplicity; superbly executed, smart and funny which drew her in and held her attention.

“While the sculpture tackles big subjects—the complexity of cultural identity and the changing nature of craft in a digital era—it does it with cheek and humour. The legacy of tradition is seen through a contemporary lens, simultaneously throwing light on the past and the future.”

The $1,000 Toi Ohomai Innovation in Art Award went to Jill Fleming for her work Ascension and Cheyenne Rose was named as Friends of Rotorua Museum Emerging Artist for her work Legs.

The Rotorua Museum Art Awards Exhibition of Finalists 2017 displays these three award winning works alongside 45 specially selected entries at Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre until 6 October 2017.

While the exhibition is on display people can vote for their favourite artwork either in the gallery or via the Rotorua Museum Facebook page. This year the More FM People’s Choice Award will offer $500 to the artist whose work receives the most public votes in the gallery and $500 for the work with the most online votes by the end of the exhibition (6 October 2017).

Entry to the exhibition at Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre is free and will be open daily between 10am – 4pm from 9 September until 6 October 2017.

For the first time this year Rotorua Museum will be displaying works that were not chosen for the finalist exhibition in a Salon des Refusés. This exhibition will be hosted at Rotorua Library (1238 Pukuatua Street, Rotorua) from 14 September until 7 October 2017 (during normal library opening hours).

All artworks from both exhibitions will be on sale to the public throughout the exhibition period.

For further information please contact Rotorua Museum, phone 07 350 1814 or email                 AND…



Bob Jahnke – ATA: a third reflection 

9 September 2017 – January 2018

Reflections upon past events, like reflections in a mirror, are inherently skewed to the perspective of the viewer. Ata, meaning form or reflection, explores the connections between light and reflection, history and retrospection.

Like light through a prism, Jahnke’s sculptures offer us alternative perspectives, expanding our linear view of history into a spectrum of thought and colour. Symbols within the works cite nineteenth and early twentieth century Māori spiritual leaders such as Te Kooti Arikirangi and Rua Kēnana, reflecting on the artistic and religio-political innovations of their era.

Professor Robert (Bob) Jahnke is of Ngāi Taharora, Te Whānau-a-Iritekura, Te Whānau a Rakairoa o Ngāti Porou, Samoan-German, Scottish and Irish descent. As a significant figure in contemporary Māori art, Jahnke has an extensive exhibition history and has works in major public and private collections throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally. 

This exhibition has been developed and toured by Pātaka Art + Museum.

This exhibition at Tauranga Art Gallery has been generously supported by Kinetic Recruitment


Bridget Reweti, Irihanga

9 September 2017 – January 2018

Wellington-based artist Bridget Reweti (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi), who is originally from Tauranga Moana, has created an installation highlighting the 150 years since the Tauranga Bush Campaign that resulted in the raupatu (confiscation) of Tauranga Moana. Drawing on Pai Marire iconography and native flora, Reweti’s work portrays the complex ecosystem of the Kaimai, the area where the scorched earth policy was most intensely enforced.

Irihanga, which means to suspend or to hang, references various devices that have been used throughout early colonial history in Aotearoa. Haki (flags) and heke (rafters in a meeting house) have at various times both been employed as a way to communicate unification, dissension or to signal change   

Friends of the Tauranga Art Gallery – Nga Mata Ratarata o Toi Tauranga are art enthusiasts committed to supporting the Gallery socially, financially and as art advocates.
By becoming a Friend you will play a vital role in the continuing support of the Gallery. You can be actively involved by participating in events organised specifically for our members or you can simply consider your fee a donation to the ongoing betterment of our Gallery and receive invitations and information.  

Friends receive:

  • invitations to Gallery Exhibition openings
  • invitations to Gallery functions such as presentations and performances
  • invitations to Art in the Afternoon which is held 10 times yearly on Wednesday at 2.45 pm. Art in the Afternoon is a platform for Friends to hear from local artists and others engaged in the arts community.  General public $5.  Friends: Gold coin donation
  • Regular newsletters and updates
  • Invitations to Friends only events such as:
  • Art at Home – private collection viewing
  • Art Away – guided tours to museums and galleries in other centres
  • Art at the Gallery – guided tours of exhibitions in the Gallery
  • Art in Studios – visiting local artist studios
  • In addition, you will receive:
  • 10% discount off general retail merchandise at the Gallery
  • $2 off any ticket purchased to any movie showing at Rialto Cinema in Tauranga (membership card required at time of purchase)

For more information please contact the Friends by email.         


Friends Annual Membership fees:

  • Individual $25
  • Family/Couple $40 
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Membership can be for yourself OR you can gift it to an art lover as a gift that keeps on giving — it lasts a whole year!

Phone +64 (0) 7 578 7933
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