uPflash: the AAAF at Whakamarama tomorrow


The last Sunday for July 2018 is tomorrow – the 29th and the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair at the Black Sheep Whakamarama is on again 11am to 3pm.  We’re inside the cafe, restaurant, atrium and conference room if it rains.

The AAAF kicked off with its first Fair in November 2017 and has operated successfully since then.   It’s a collaborative not for profit venture between ARTbop and the Black Sheep providing an opportunity for locals with original art, art craft and artisan products and produce to exhibit and sell.  There is also live music and great food and a monthly themed prize.  The Fair has also created a regular visitor attraction and destination for the Western Bay area between Tauranga and Kati Kati.

Upland Road start the morning at one of the Fairs

It’s Saturday morning up here in Whakamarama and outside my window there are thick multi-greyed clouds over  the Minden hills, towards Tauranga and the south.  The sun is having some difficulty pushing the clouds apart but a determined panel of light is there and occasional scraps of bright-early spring blue sky.  I don’t think I’ll be seeing the eclipse!  If the weather tomorrow is “inclement” (don’t you just love that word) tomorrow it’s no drama for the Fair as there is so much “inner space” within the Black Sheep: it’s like a Tardis.

Looking into the Atrium: original printed clothing

Cafe time!

The Fair has a range of regular exhibitors and a palette of occasional creative stallholders. The creativity on show and for sale covers an extremely wide range.  There is painting and photography, locally made clothing and clothing with original printed designs, photography, paper products, creative fibre, knitting, crocheted art work, decorative planted containers, herbal products, ceramics, woodware ….and on…!   Tomorrow we feature the work of Susanne Martin who patiently creates meticulously folded art objects from folded paper and books.  You’ll adore her family of hedgehogs and be amazed by some of her larger decorative works.

Unique hand tied macrame art

What am I doing there?  I’ve always grown flowers of some kind and had flowers and foliage drying in the barn.  Nothing’s changed except I recently had a significant removal of botanical stuff from my sitting room to  a workroom.  I now have a floor and seating!  Indoor plants YouTube tells me have a 5 year lifespan.  Don’t anyone tell that to the still growing peace lilies I brought from my former practice…they’re in the indoor plant book of records.    I have a small selection of repurposed containers and indoor plants…you can be responsible for their lifespan!

I’ll also be bringing some of my traditional flower, herb and foliage bunches “tussie mussies”.  It’s so encouraging when people come back to the next Fair and tell me the flowers they’ve bought are still in great condition.   I’ve been experimenting with painting and colouring dried foliage.  It can be used on its own or incorporated into mixed designs.  One visitor bought many bunches of coloured foliage for his hallway and was planning to interweave strands of tiny lights through them.

Flowers, foliage, botanicals and more from Artisan Flowers & Foliage

I’ve always drawn and designed cards and paper products but recently I’ve been creating small inspirational collages of vintage materials and dried flowers… I’ll have one or two on display tomorrow.

Some of the creatives who take a space also promote their work through other venues in the region – they will be able to tell you where they will be if you want to bring friends or family to see something interesting.  Others of us only exhibit at the AAAF.

The Fair is not a “Farmer’s Market” but does offer a selection of locally grown produce and products.  There are chocolates, chutney, pickles, jams and small quantities of fruit, eggs and homegrown vegetables.   You’ll also find fresh flowers and dried foliage. 

A very popular exhibitor has been Isaac Weston of RE.WORK.IT  Isaac creates amazing garden and outdoor art and features from recycled materials.   This month he’s away : Isaac is working on a feature garden for the Garden & Arts Festival.     And unfortunately this month our fabulous face painter Andrea cannot come along: a victim of winter ills!

The Black Sheep Bar & Grill complex is extensive: it’s not your usual cafe or bar.  It’s on the main road on the rural fringe of Tauranga, North West towards Kati Kati – almost half way!  It’s been the site of other activities, other businesses and food-based operations – but the Black Sheep has created something different and better.  There’s a rustic colonial theme to much of the decor – not the food though it’s contemporary and totally “eatworthy”.

A selection of the goodies and treats available at the Black Sheep Bar & Grill

See you tomorrow Sunday, 11am to 3pm at the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair at the Black Sheep Corner SH2 and Plummer’s Point Road, Whakamarama.

Look what I’ve won!

AFFORDABLE ART & ARTISAN FAIR Whakamarama  https://www.facebook.com/AffordableArtandArtisanFair/

GARDEN & ART FESTIVAL TAURANGA 2018         https://www.gardenandartfestival.co.nz/

RE.WORK.IT Isaac Weston Art for Home and Garden  https://www.reworkit.co.nz/

I need bread and I need roses (and poetry)!

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.


ARTbop promotes

(or we think you should check this out!)


ARTbop is promoting poetry in the Western Bay of Plenty

Established spoken word, slam poet and performance poet Dhaivat Mehta and author, reviewer and poet Marcus Hobson are at the heart of a poetry initiative to give Whakamarama District locals the opportunity to meet and share their spoken words with others.  Meeting on the second Thursday of every month at the Black Sheep Whakamarama and providing an evening of entertaining words and thought from 6.00pm to 8.30pm.




Join us every second Thursday of the month,

6.00pm to 8.30pm

Read your own poems or poems by your favourite poet.   Enjoy the power of the spoken word!

Phone:   07 571 8722   021 145 5810


The cover is as amazing as the words: ARTbop Editor, Book Reviewer and alchemy participant Marcus Hobson


Tauranga slam poet and alternative spoken word poet Dhaivat Mehta


Dhaivat Mehta and Kingsley Smith’s current word and music project Tryptofunk


The Historic Village Galleries

 We recommend you visit  the People’s Gallery and the smaller Incubator Gallery to view the current exhibitions and the recently opened Imprint gallery and art space.       These galleries display an amazing and eclectic range of creativity.  One of the exhibitions I’ve seen recently at the People’s Gallery has to be my favourite so far….it’s the epitome of wearable art:  Aroha Atu Aotearoa – the essence of our wahine   The work of Donna Dinsdale.  It’s the kind of exhibition that should be kept together and exhibited around New Zealand and overseas.   NOTE: An exhibition by noted creative fibre artist and raranga weaver Jo Torr will soon be at the People’s Gallery.

Talented creative and Toi Ohomai creative Educator

Donna Dinsdale at the People’s Gallery July 2018

Jewel colours but a detailed political statement

Absolute detail and precision

Suffrage statement

Also, the Tauranga Art Gallery in its large upstairs gallery area is showing the selected finalists in the 2018 Miles Art Awards.  This is a diverse and interesting collection of work.  There is a small gallery retail space

The talented 3rd Year Toi Ohomai BCI student, Isaac Crowe winner of the Incubator Emerging Artist Award in the 2018 Miles Awards.  Isaac also contributed to the Dinsdale work above creating the Aroha Atu Image

Check in with Creative Bay of Plenty opposite in Willow Street  to collect one of the updated arts trail brochures for Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and surrounds.  A Macandmor production:  and check out their newly developed arty email you can subscribe to.  

When you are in the Downtown Tauranga area you can  visit The Art Lounge on Devonport Road, and Macandmor in the Goddard Centre Arcade.  You’ll also want a warming coffee, treat or lunch in one of Downtown Tauranga’s cafes.   Enjoy your creative winter in Tauranga Moana and the Bay of Plenty!

From a previous Macandmor exhibition


And don’t forget the next Affordable Art & Artisan Fair  is this Sunday 29th July.  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 us as an exhibitor/retailer of your original creativity or artisan products you can contact us at aaafair17@gmail.com

We are sign posted along SH2 with signage to the turnoff of SH2 and Plummer’s Point Road.  You won’t be able to miss us!  Here’s  just a taste of what you’ll find. We’re indoors over winter months and outside in the Summer!


Last Sunday of July at the Black Sheep: AAAFair 11am – 3pm

Cafe time at the Affordable Art & Artisan Fair



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