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Past Exhibitions

Preston Russell Art Awards Exhibition.

And the winners are!!!

Overall Winner: Kris Thomas (Oils) On Their Shoulders

Judges Choice winners:


Melanie Larsen Eiderdowns (Pencil), Lisa Benson a little flakey (Oil on Linen), Laire Purik Manuka Love (Photo on Linen)

The Riverton Community Arts Centre is currently hosting the 2018 Preston Russell Art Awards Exhibition.
This event is sponsored by Preston Russell Law. The entries are varied and include photography, paintings\\(oil and acrylics) mixed media, jewellery, roofing iron, wood, textile, photography in linen, clay, pencil and pen. This exhibition will be an extraordinary sample of the talent of artists in the Southland, Otago and Central Otago districts, and is not to be missed. The winner of the Preston Russell Law Awards will be announced Friday 27th April at a private viewing at the Riverton Community Arts Centre. The exhibition opens on Saturday 28th April and continues to 20th May 2018. The venue address is 149 Palmerston Street, Riverton, Southland. The gallery is open from 11am to 4pm from Wednesday to Sunday for the duration of the exhibition. We hope the community will take this opportunity to view this exhibition. All the art is for sale and will be available at the completion of the exhibition. For more information please contact Anna Cannon Riverton Community Arts Centre 028 409 5941 or 03 2349922


Finishes Sunday 5 November 2017

Jill Howie, Fiona Michels and Dawn Barry

We've had a great 2 weeks exhibition with lots of people through and really positive feedback!

Eighteen paintings sold

20 October - 5 November 2017
Open daily 11am-4pm
This Southland group of artists exhibit together every couple of years and have joined forces to bring you this combined show offering a range of styles and subjects that are available for purchase.

There was be one or more of the artists working on-site at the Arts Centre each day.

Any enquiries please email: skipndash@slingshot.co.nz or phone: (022) 304 7664

in conjunction with:

11am SATURDAY 8th APRIL - 4pm SUNDAY 7th MAY 2017

In 2015, The Riverton Community Arts Centre secured sponsorship to hold our very own art awards, our sponsors are an Invercargill based firm ‘Preston Russell Law’. The Partners of Preston Russell Law value the contribution local artists make to our communities, and wish to support and showcase artists in Southland by way of a second year of sponsorship of these Riverton Arts awards. Last year’s event was a resounding success characterized by a wide scope of exceptional exhibits in varying mediums, including of course the Supreme award winner, Michael Scheele’s ‘Horizon’ which was purchased by the Partners and is now prominently displayed in their Invercargill office.

The 'Supreme Winner' award is a $2,000.00 cash prize, with three ‘Judge's Choice’ awards of $300.00 each. The 2017 winners have been chosen by a distinguished panel of judges; Jim Geddes, Curator - Eastern Southland Gallery, Gore; Peter Belton, Artist and Tutor - Southern Institute of Technology and Ari Edgecombe, Artist and Curator - Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

Southland District Mayor Gary Tong, officially opened the Exhibition and Awards Ceremony on Friday 7th April. The winners and all other accepted entries are now on display and open to the public from Saturday 8th April at 11am until 4pm, Sunday 7th May.

Entry is free but we appreciate your donations!


'Aparima New Arts Focus' 2016 Aparima College Students present works for 28th Oct

'Waka Art'Exhibition Riverton Kindergarten Childrens Artwork 14th Oct

'Urban Night' Photographic Exhibition Hannah McCrosties' Sept 15th

'The Ducks Deluxe Fundraiser' 2016 Local Artists were asked to do what they do best to a 3d Object this time for our 2016 fundraiser.

The Preston Russell Law Art Awards April 7th 2016

'Russell Everett and Mary Napper'

11 Mar- 3rd April

Russell Everett of Everett Signs Invercargill in his spare time paints and draws and has created a collection of plant life based works for his duo show with Invercargill artist Mary Napper. Marys artistic creations are fine stitching on textiles, hand and machine quilting and hand dyed fabrics.

'Animal Art Exhibition

12th Feb- 11th March

Opening Night Friday 12th February, 7pm

Mixed media art works inspired by animals, mammals, birds and fish. This exhibition is a portrayal of the creatures sharing our world.

'The Bill and Bob Show'

15th Jan-7th February

Artists: Bill Jones and Wayne of the Hill. Woodwork, whittling, paintings and sculpture.

Across the Waters

'Across The Waters' Exhibition

11th Dec-January 10th

Artists: Irene Schroder(Omaui)- Ceramics, John Collins(Omaui)- Wood Carver, Cilla McQueen(Bluff)-Poetry and Pencil Drawings, Julia Middleton-Chapman(Riverton)-Contemporary Jewellery, Emma Coppin(Riverton)-Oil Painter, Wayne Hill(Riverton)- Sculptor, Janet de Wagt(Riverton)- Acrylic Painting This will be a landmark exhibition of meaningful artworks, showcasing the talent and creativity nestled within Riverton, Omaui and Bluff. The exhibition will bridge the artistic communications between these unique and beautiful coastal settlements, aiming to form an artistic bond, resulting in further creative initiatives between these communities, living across the waters from each other.


13th November-6th December

Inspired by the American Thanksgiving celebration artists have been invited to express in their art what they value and are grateful for in their own lives. This is a feel-good exhibition and a way to reflect on the year that has been.

2nd October-8TH November

After the success of 2014’s Southern Seas Steampunk Exhibition we are taking another voyage back in time to rediscover the history of the Chinese miners in Western Southland. In a similar fashion to our first expedition into the genre we will fuse history with all that is Steampunk. Last year we looked at the nautical history, the whalers and explorers and those who braved the unknown. Now we venture back in time again to uncover the unique world of the Chinese miners who, in search of gold, brought the richness of their culture to our shores.

Riverton Community Arts Centre Presents… Palette-able

Friday 8th May –Sunday 7th June

The Riverton Community Arts Centre presents Palette-able, a unique fundraising exhibition! Artists throughout the country have transformed the traditional artist palette into a stunning piece of original art. Featuring some of the region’s most popular artists, this is a fantastic opportunity to support the highly regarded Riverton Community Arts Centre. Palettes will be on display at the Arts Centre for a month and are to be auctioned on Trade Me.

Trade Me Auction begins on the 1st June and closes on Sunday the 7th June, 7.30pm


3rd April- Sunday 7th June

Delving one year deeper in to the centennial celebration of the First World War, the Riverton Community Arts Centre presents a poignant display of artwork created by local artists and inspired by the heroism and sacrifice of the First World War. If you would like to submit an art work for this exhibition. Please contact Emma at the Riverton Community Arts Centre

The Pure Line

6th-29th March

An exhibition showcasing the visual diaries of Southland’s well-known artists and craftsmen. Proudly sponsored by SPG Riverton.

Off the Sheep's Back

3rd February-1st March A quilt exhibition using woollen textiles. Featuring work from friends and fellow artists; Mary Napper, Janet Ryan and Marion Manson, Lorraine Brougham, Penny Yates and Robyn Jerebine.

More about the Tiara Tarts....

We are a group of six textile artists/quilters from around the country who work independently. Since 2004 we have got together once a year for a long weekend usually at Cooks Beach on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula.

We are pleased to present this exhibition at Riverton that showcases the Taranaki Garden Spectacular Challenge, the Cushion Challenge and other quilts made from woollen fabrics. The woollen fabrics include many blankets rescued from op shops and bach’s/cribs.

In 2013 The Tiara Tarts ventured to New Plymouth to check out the Garden Spectacular and visit as many gardens as possible. We all appreciate beautiful gardens and flowers although not all of us are great gardeners.

There was plenty of inspiration for us from the weekend and the extra challenge of 75% wool has produced a wide and interesting variety of work.

We hope you enjoy our efforts.

The Tiara Tarts are Mary from Western Southland, the only South Islander, Marion, Robyn and Lorraine from Hamilton, Janet from North Shore Auckland and Peggy from Whangarei.

Each year we or an outside person will set a challenge to be unveiled the following year at the annual gathering. Some, but not all of these challenges have been judged by outside judges for the coveted Tiara title and Tiara crown.

The challenges since 2004 have been… One meter of Dye-It Fabric Calendar Self Portrait Page21 Japan Zips Tea Lonely Bay Southern and Northern Odyssey A cushion using woollen fabric The Taranaki Garden Spectacular - also using woollen fabrics

Each year we rise to the challenge at hand and the work produced is varied and interesting as each of us push the boundaries.

The November get-togethers are a highlight of the year where with our husbands we enjoy a weekend of good times and memory making, friendship, laughs, good food and wine and for the boys some fishing. The boys have even set up their own group CBLWFC (Cooks Beach Labour Weekend Fishing Club).

In Between the Tides- Estuary Art Exhibition

Saturday 14th February, 3pm

This Summer the Riverton Community Arts Centre is taking art to the estuary in our fun pop-up exhibition, In Between the Tides. Community groups and local artists will diverge on Jacobs Estuary in Riverton to assemble their sculpture before installing it directly in to the estuary bed at low tide. The sculptures will then be on display for the public to view for the remainder of the evening until high tide-at which point the artists will disassemble their creation before it is swept away by the encroaching waters!

With live music, stalls, and a good old fashioned Kiwi Sausage sizzle, this is a great way to spend a long summer evening in Southland’s beautiful coastal township, Riverton.

What: you need to know: Date: Saturday 14th February- 3pm*

  • Please note-postponement date: Sunday 15th February, 4pm.

Who: Riverton community groups and southland artists such as Wayne Hill, Peter Templeton and Tina Maxwell.

What: In the style of a Sculpture Symposium, artists will create unique sculptures before the public, then going on to display it in our local estuary, one of Rivertons most scenic and ever-changing environments.

Where: Jacob’s Estuary, Riverton. Location: In front of Te Hikoi Museum-between the focal point and the viewing platform.

To participate in this event, please contact Emma at the Riverton Community Arts Centre

Phone: 03 234 9932

E:mail info@rivertonarts.org.nz

Off the Wall- Art Exhibition

5th January- 1st February

With its successful debut in 2014, Off the Wall is back again for the new year! This year-since we are no longer housed in a hall, we have offered artists the opportunity to book a room in our gallery for up to four weeks! This means rapidly rotating exhibitions, exciting artwork and the ability for artists to replace sold work as soon as its slapped with a much coveted red sticker! For the art-loving public this a great way to pick-up quality, affordable, original art and craft that can be taken home on the day of purchase.

Featuring work by Southland Artists such as Michelle Dawson, Gina van Wichen, Chris Flavell, Ari Edgecombe and Julia Middleton

Selfie 5th December-4th January

‘Selfie’ has become a buzzword in our modern-digital age, but the idea of a self-portrait is nothing new and has been prevalent throughout art-history. Come and see the work of local artists who have been challenged to explore their own identity by engaging in both traditional and modern methods of artistic expression.

Featuring the work of Southland Artists such as Wayne Hill, Ari Edgecombe and Stephen Davies.

The annual Aparima College Art Exhibition is one of the highlights of our exhibition calendar. There are two main components to the art exhibition, please see below for more information.

Aparima College Art Exhibition

Friday 14th- Sunday 30th November 2014.

1. Banner Project 2014. The 2014 Aparima College Year 10 Banner Project is called "Centenary 2014 - Commemorating World War 1". Students are using contrasts between the past and present to explore ideas of memory and place. They are drawing upon historic photographs and contemporary icons of local landscape to create mixed media artworks and printing these on to large cloth banners that will be displayed in the gallery and along Palmerston Street. Inspiration has also come from artists Nicky Foreman, Mark Klett and Richard Killeen.

2. Senior Art Exhibition The senior NCEA art exhibition will include an amazing array of talented photography and painting students as always. Some of the themes students have explored this year include, Motherhood, Dream Worlds influenced by Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, Man versus Nature, Astronomy, Time and the Landscape, Forces of Nature, A Place of My Own and Rap Music among many others. As always, the diversity of themes, approaches, techniques and sources of inspiration will be real treat for gallery visitors.

Southland and Beyond

Tracey Huson and Joanne Strachan. October 30th-November 11th

Opening Night Thursday 30th October, 7pm All WELCOME!

An exhibition of stunning landscape paintings by Southland artists Tracey Huson and Joanne Strachan. Both Tracey and Jo have regularly attended the Borland Lodge painting workshops with Tuatapere artist, Wayne Edgerton, and his style and technique has greatly inspired their own work.

Riverton Community Arts Centre Presents…

Polar Pacific

A collaborative exhibition between the Riverton Community Arts Centre and Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Cultural Trust with the intention of showcasing contemporary Pacific art. Featuring work from Johnny Penisula, Chris Flavell and our guest artist, internationally recognised Pacific couture designer Lindah Lepou.

Opening Night Friday 3rd October, 7pm. All Welcome Featuring a cultural performance. Drinks and nibbles provided. Free Entry.

Polar Pacific

3rd October-28th October

Coming up we have an excellent showcase of contemporary Pacific Art. Internationally recognised Pacific Couture designer Lindah Lepou is our guest artist for this exhibition. On display, Lindah will have one of her signature pieces alongside that of two her interns, the emerging and talented , Peni 'Ben' Moala and Osana Suniula, who are currently studying at the Southern Institute of Technology.

Highly regarded Pacific artist , Johnny Penisula has personally selected these artists based on both their Pacific origin and their Southland connection. These artists include Irene Schroeder, Josh Tipu, John Collins and Riverton’s own, Chris Flavell.

Along-side our Polar Pacific exhibition is a one-of-a-kind event organised by Lindah Lepou that will transform the historic Templeton Flax Mill in to a cutting edge fashion show of Lindah’s striking and sophisticated Pacific Couture garments. Please see below for Lindah’s description of this exciting event. This is the first exhibition of purely Polynesian and Maori work at the Riverton Community Arts Centre. We are really looking forward to the opportunity to showcase contemporary Pacific art to the community and the potential there is to redefine the public’s perception of Pacific Art.

For more information on our guest artist-Lindah Lepou please see her website: http://www.lindahlepou.com/

Pasifika is coming to Riverton!

Please feel welcome to attend our opening night on Friday the 3rd of October at 7pm

Southern Seas Steampunk Exhibition

29th August-28th September

Opening Night 29th August 7pm.149 Palmerston Street, Riverton. Next door to Xcell Hairdressing.

Featuring a performance from the Invercargill Salvation Army Band All welcome! Free Entry.

What is Steampunk ?

Steampunk is a cultural phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. The Steampunk aesthetic derives from the culture and style of the Victorian era which was an age driven by steam. Throw the culture, style and imagination of the 19th Century in to a boiling pot of science fiction, fantasy, futurism and pure creative invention and from this fusion of ideas will emerge a creation quintessentially Steampunk.

Our Southern Seas Steampunk Exhibition draws inspiration on the early maritime history of the South Seas with a special interest in the early settlers of Riverton, one of New Zealand’s oldest township, settled in the 1830s. The nautical element that derives from tales of whaling, long harrowing voyages, shipwrecks and Maori legends of the area have also channelled artist’s ideas. The exhibition has an exciting variety of works by artists from the Riverton/Southland area such as Julia Middleton and Wayne Hill and further afield – like Te Anau Jeweller, Paul Brimcombe(see photo attached).

On board as Guest Artist for the Southern Seas Steampunk Exhibition, is established artist Donna Demente. Based in the Steampunk Capital of New Zealand, Donna Demente is a very successful and highly regarded artist. This reputation comes not only from her prize-winning artwork, but also from the contribution she has made to her local community through her creative endeavours.

Special Events:

Shared Lunch with Donna Demente

Saturday 30th August-

Guest Artist, Donna Demente will speak about her art and influences alongside a slideshow presentation of her work. This is a fantastic opportunity for art lovers and artists alike to gain an insight in to her creative world. Bring a plate and your shiniest gold coin for a lovely and intriguing afternoon with one of New Zealand’s most talented and eccentric artists!

Shared Lunch begins 2pm at the Riverton Union Church Hall.

Sunday 31st August –

Illustrated Talk at Te Hikoi Heritage Museum

Talk begins at 4pm, $13 (includes light refreshments)

13th December 2013 to 5th January 2014

Murihiku Moments

A collection of artworks from Western Southland artists

A group exhibition of local creations including sculptural stone, driftwood, timber, pottery, weaving, painting, mosaic, jewellery. Featured artists: Wendy Lopes, Tina Maxwell (Mapa Art), Jill Nicholls, Robert Orchard, Irene Perceval, Helen Scott, Peter Templeton.

About the artists:

Wendy Lopes – Attracted to Riverton several years ago, Wendy enjoys the creative freedom she finds in the area of Murihiku-Southland. She dedicates much of her spare time to her artistic pursuits, particularly making mosaics from a variety of materials and “upcycling” household items.

Tina Maxwell – Tina initiated the “Murihiku Moments” exhibition and until earlier this year had the small shop Mapa Art in Riverton. Although she has recently moved to Christchurch with her husband and family, Tina loves Riverton and Southland and maintains strong links to the area. She has always enjoyed making things and is known locally for her jewellery creations and individually crafted furniture and interiors items.

Jill Nicholls - Jill is well-known in Riverton as the proprietor of craft and gift shop Something Special which operated for almost ten years and has sadly recently closed. Jill has succumbed to the lure of the grandchildren and will soon be moving north – she will be greatly missed in the area and will no doubt miss the inspiration and freedom of expression the deep south has given her. Jill has an enduring and lively interest in a variety of craft techniques and materials. She will be exhibiting her pottery and weaving work.

Robert Orchard and Irene Perceval - Robert and Irene are quite recent arrivals in Southland and have opened a small gallery in Tuatapere. They’ve wasted no time immersing themselves in the local arts scene and have already taken part in local exhibitions, and have exhibited widely in various NZ venues in past years. Both artists work with natural materials, particularly stone (meticulously handcrafted wall sculptures, for example), but also with driftwood and other found materials.

Helen Scott – A Tuatapere resident, Helen is a painter who explores a wide range of subject matter and is “constantly being inspired and motivated by different things, especially my grandchildren. I paint what I want to paint when I want to paint."

Peter Templeton – a well-known local identity in Riverton and Tuatapere, Peter creates many of his sculptures from driftwood, wood and found objects. ___________________________________________________

22 November to 8 December 2013

Shaping Identity

Art and photography by Year 10 and senior students from Aparima College

(Photographic images: Ruaridh Fleming, Ship; Dayna Guise-Ward, Landscape; Linda Brown, Crushed House)

NCEA photography and folders are now on show, and during the course of the exhibition the Year 10 students’ colourful street banners will join the display before they are hung in Palmerston Street over the summer months. The street banner theme this year is “Shaping Identity”. The students have used cultural and personal symbolism inspired by history, ancestry, passions, heroes and heroines to create multi-layered paintings. Inspiration has also come from NZ artists Richard Killeen and his images within images, Fatu Feu’u and his love of stories and journeys – and John Pule and his symbols of the psyche.

Some of this year’s general artwork and photography themes are: histiography and John Howell, founder of Aparima/Riverton; remembrances of those lost at sea; fables and legends; the three states of water; Orepuki of old; other iconic local landscapes; battles between light and dark; domestic violence; the futility of war; the other-worlds of Lewis Carroll and many others.

Come in and see the creative talent of our young community members.


November is SCHOOLS MONTH at the Riverton Community Arts Centre

Friday 8th-Wednesday 20th November we are showing photography work from the students of Riverton Primary School.

Friday 22nd November to Sunday 8th December we are exhibiting work from the Aparima College students, including their colourful street banners (now an annual fixture in the main street of Riverton over the summer months) along with NCEA photography work and end-of-year art folders.


Far North-Deep South

4 October to 3 November 2013

(Exhibition now extended)


Showcasing works by southern artists

Opening Night: 7pm, Friday 4 October with Guest Speaker Frana Cardno, Southland District Mayor

This exhibition is the second stage of an “art exchange” project which began last year when artworks by artists living in Northland were exhibited here at the Arts Centre. This stage showcases works from southern artists - an opportunity to see works by our great local talent that give a sense of the south. The overall aim is to forge a lasting connection between artistic communities at the extreme ends of New Zealand and to explore regional influences. Selected artists from Riverton, Southland, Invercargill and beyond have been invited to participate. The final selection of artworks are by: Nigel Brown, Dawn Barry, Isobel Bates, Maree Beker, Peter Belton, Karen Bickley, Liz Bristow, Lyndon Coppin, Janet de Wagt, Evangeline (Emma Coppin), Chris Flavell, Dawn Glynn, Wayne Hill, John Husband, Bill Jones, Lisa Justice Grace, Julia Middleton, Mary Napper, Jill Nicholls, Debbie Racz, Tony Tarasiewicz and John Wishart.



30 August to 29 September 2013

Opening Night: 7pm, Friday 30 August with talk by Guest Artist, Nigel Brown

A group exhibition of works including paintings, jewellery and ceramics from both established and emerging artists

Guest Artist: Nigel Brown

Icescape from Scott Base (with T.A.E. Hut & Mt. Discovery) (1998), Acrylic on canvas

Nigel Brown is one of New Zealand’s most instantly recognised artists, and has established a reputation as one of the most important artists working in New Zealand. He was born in Invercargill and returned to Southland in 2001 to live and work in the surroundings of the spectacular south coast. He has a strong interest in the environment, as expressed by American author and ecologist Michael Tobias in a recent Forbes magazine interview:

“Brown’s commentary on the natural world is visually compelling, his work hanging in the balance of ecological communion that may, or may not be going the way any of us would prefer. Indeed, as an astute observer, thinker and painter focusing to large degree on Nature and environmental paradox, Nigel Brown is one of the most complex and profound narrative storytellers on record.”

In the course of the interview, Nigel states, “In my art I attempt to explore the human relationship to land and nature or even to reinvent it.”

See the full interview at http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltobias/2013/04/10/nigel-brown-a-new-zealand-original/

Brown's work is represented in most public gallery collections in New Zealand with larger holdings in Te Papa,Tauranga Public Art Gallery and the Hocken Library.

Visit Nigel’s website at http://nigelbrown.co.nz/

Extra events during the exhibition:

Saturday 31st August: Outdoor Painting with Riverton artist Emma Coppin (aka Evangeline) 10am-12 - FREE Meet 9.45am at the Arts Centre with suitable art materials. Maybe go on to a local café afterwards ....

Saturday 21st September: Beach Junk Sculpture Workshop with Riverton artist Wayne Hill - Start collecting your beach junk and driftwood now! Some materials provided - 1-5pm $10

Saturday 28th September: Floral Art Using Kelp - a presentation with floral artist Rhonda Hall - 2.30pm $5

Saturday 28th September: Film screening of "The Waterfall" documentary (see below) - 7pm - entry by donation

Opening Night artist's talk:

Nigel Brown will be speaking about his experiences as a visiting artist in Antarctica and in Fiordland's Dusky Sound.

In 1998 Nigel Brown was the first visual artist to receive the Inaugural Artists to Antarctica Award - a visit documented in "Art in the Freezer", a film written and directed by James Bellamy. (This was the second film on this event - the earlier one was "The Unframed Continent" produced by the Natural History Unit in Dunedin.)

Nigel also participated in the documentary "The Waterfall" (2011) directed by Peta Carey, featuring a visit by four contemporary artists to Dusky Sound. This documentary will be screened at the Arts Centre at 7pm on Saturday 28th September.

Contact us for more information about the exhibition and extra events



Not an exhibition but a series of well-enjoyed art and craft workshops ....

3D Mosaic, Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 May 10am-4pm $90

	2-day workshop with Dunedin artist Janet de Wagt   
	Bring along your old plates, shells, glass beads, etc (all other materials provided) and have fun creating your mosaic masterpiece

Metal Jewellery, Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 May 10am-5pm $100

	with Wellington artist Kristelle Plimmer   
	Making silver rings and things … learn a wide range of jewellery-making techniques, materials (silver & copper) included

Playing with Colour, Saturday 25 May 10am-3pm $40

	with Invercargill artist Gina van Wichen
	Painting, textile work or ??? – this workshop suits any medium – expand and explore your use of colour

Using Texture, Sunday 26 May 10am-2.30pm $40

	with Invercargill artist Michelle Dawson   
	Focus on using texture in acrylic painting – discover that extra dimension


26 April-17 May

Mixed Platter

Feature exhibition for Southland Festival of the Arts

The sculpture of John Wishart, Helen Back, Chris Flavell, Dana King, Ruth Myers and Irene Schroder. An eclectic mix of sculptors living and working in the South – this exhibition is a celebration of difference with individuals each exploring their own themes with the confidence and the determination to follow their own personal vision. John Wishart believes a distinct voice is a common trait amongst artists living and creating in the South. "You'd think that with us all living in the same region our art would reflect an overarching theme, but in fact we all bring completely different perspectives to the creative process."

John Wishart, known for his three-dimensional sculpture, is also exploring the medium of charcoal on paper and states charcoal gives a freedom that organic materials don't, allowing for a simple, raw and immediate response to his themes.

Dana King and Chris Flavell also delve into how found or discarded objects have a story to tell while the act of deconstructing and reconstructing breathes new life into what has gone before. Flavell has moved sideways from his usual medium of acrylic on canvas, into reinventing furniture and antique timbers, paying homage to the artisans who went before him. King aims to examine how we relate to the body and to challenge our perceptions of what we consider art to be.

Helen Back creates darkly humorous pieces with clay, steel, textiles and paints. While she says they are "user- friendly, low-brow art", her people, animals and buildings reflect the eccentricities of human nature.

Embracing and exploring digital technology, Ruth Myers challenges the thoughts and perceptions of the audience. Her work "witness" is a sculpture, performance and video project which explores processes of identification and is a preliminary work to her current PhD project "being made".

Since returning to Southland in 2007 Irene Schroder is inspired by the landscape of her childhood, in particular the southern coast with its rocky shores and storm-tossed beaches. Clay is her chosen material for this exhibition - sculpted, fired then finished with glazes, sands, gravels and heat.


10 to 23 April 2013

Artwork by Riverton Primary School students

Artwork by Ruairidh (L) and Jessica (R)

A variety of themes, all ages represented. It’s an exciting opportunity for our local schoolchildren to show their artwork to family, friends and the wider community.


9 March to 7 April 2013

Affordable Art

Art under $300

A great opportunity to purchase original works from emerging and established artists and craftspeople at very reasonable prices. This year we have some artworks on a horseracing theme to celebrate the Easter 2013 Riverton Races.

9 February to 3 March 2013

11 January to 6 February 2013

Artist-in-attendance Saturday 12 January

Dianne Trewin: The Return

Dianne Trewin is an established artist who lives in Whangarei. Her academic tertiary education took her to Elam, where she encountered figure realist Garth Tapper, the post expressionist Robert Ellis and the great prophetic, influential painter Colin McCahon. Dianne found her way through the art practice of the time, clearly learning the basics of drawing and painting before progressing into the 70s carrying a direct undercurrent of influence, primarily influenced by McCahon and the Northland landscape in which she lived. She has works in private and corporate collections in New Zealand and overseas (Australia, England, Germany, China, Malaysia, and the USA).

Dianne visited Riverton in 2011 and on meeting the (then) coordinator of the Riverton Community Arts Centre she was very motivated about exhibiting at the Arts Centre. She has since been creating new works inspired by her visit and is driving down to Riverton to hang her exhibition - works reflecting her personal style which has evolved over time into more pure abstraction, while still remaining accessible, using strong line, saturated colour and well-placed form.

On Saturday 12 January, Dianne will be in attendance at the gallery where she is available to talk about her works, giving fellow artists and visitors a valuable opportunity to swap ideas, opinions and techniques.


14 December 2012 to 10 January 2013

Opening Night: 7pm Friday 14 December

Michelle and Friends

Works by (L to R) Dorothy Smith, Michelle Dawson, David Ellis

Exhibition of Paintings, Pastels, Rugs, Sculpture, Mixed Media and Jewellery

Michelle Dawson, David Ellis, Jackie Jones, Bill Jones, Raewyn Leitch, Jessie Campbell, Dorothy Smith, Alice Smith, Esmae Turvey, Paul Frith, Velma Brown, Barbara Reed

Michelle Dawson is an art tutor at Southland Education (formerly the WEA) and the other exhibitors are members of her class. She says: I am fortunate to be involved with art classes where other artists are exploring creatively in their own ways. It is an inspiring environment that raises my curiosity and my desire to know and see other artists’ vision for their own work. I want to share their view of what it means to them: talk about how to expand on it and move forward. A small part of that process is on display here in the work of my friends.

23 November to 9 December 2012

Aparima College - The art of 2012

Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 students from Aparima College showcase their NCEA photography and street banners created from mixed media works. The theme for the street banners this year is the local landscape in words and pictures. Students were inspired by the grid arrangements, text and and cropped elements of New Zealand artists Nicky Foreman and Nic Phillipson. Students have made painted and mixed media artworks using a variety of media including paint, digital photography, indian ink and pen. After the exhibition the banners will be hung along Palmerston Street, Riverton, for the summer season.

26 October to 18 November 2012

Far North-Deep South

The first stage of this unique cultural exchange sees the work of 20 selected Northland artists on show in the Deep South and we are pleased to have Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno speaking on our opening night - 7pm, Friday 26 October.

In 2011 the concept for this project was initiated when Whangarei artist Dianne Trewin visited Riverton. Stage One involves bringing the work of selected established and emerging Northland artists down to the Riverton Community Arts Centre, with two Northland artists travelling down to Riverton. Stage Two will see the works of selected Southland artists sent to Whangarei in 2013, accompanied by two local artists.

Northern Co-ordinator, gallery owner and artist Megan Corbett will be at the opening night along with Andrea Beazley, artist and Community Manager at The Quarry Arts Centre in Whangarei, where the 2013 exhibition of works by southern artists will take place. On Saturday 27 October at 2pm they will be talking about the works and artists represented in the exhibition and about The Quarry, which has a long history of supporting local artisans and is an active element of the Whangarei creative community. Megan Corbett has worked closely with The Quarry and CHART (Culture, Heritage and Arts) North on the project which is well-supported by Craigs Investment Partners in Invercargill, Creative Communities NZ (Southland District) and the Community Trust of Southland.

Through this unique cultural exchange, artists have the chance to showcase their region by exploring land, culture and history from a regional perspective and to develop a lasting creative connection between the opposite ends of New Zealand.

28 September to 22 October 2012

Past Present and ???

Well known members of the Southland arts community Joan Hall-Jones and Isobel Bates have joined forces with Owen Gerrard to co-ordinate this exhibition featuring a multitude of craft artists and painters. As well as Joan (embroiderer-knitter) and Isobel (weaver), exhibitors include Rhonda Campbell (painter), Frank Checketts (potter), Trish Cuttriss (weaver), Raewyn Leitch (hooked rugs), Leone Mason (painter), Nancy Mitchell (potter), Jill Nicholls (potter), Bonar Swale (leather), and Peter Walker (painter).

The Past is represented in this exhibition by several crafts including inkle and tablet braiding (used since the Iron Age), embroidery (also recorded from the Iron Age), leather work (since pre-historic times), pottery (dates back to the Upper Palaeolithic Period over 30,000 years ago) and, from more recent times, the colonial skill of hooked rug-making. These crafts have evolved over time and remain popular nowadays. The Present represents the contemporary era - traditional arts and crafts interpreted in a modern way for use and enjoyment by people today. And ??? - who knows what people's creativity will produce in the future?!

31 August to 23 September 2012

Opening Night: 7pm, Friday 31 August

Guest Speaker: Gary Freemantle, current William Hodges fellow

During our winter break we have refreshed, revitalised and revamped the Arts Centre shop and given it a brand new name - The Art Cove. For our opening exhibition of the season the retail area has expanded to fill the gallery with a huge selection of original art works, prints, jewellery, books, cards, furniture and more. Items have been sourced from our current list of talented artists and also from new contributors to provide a wide range of beautiful and inspirational pieces.

We are also offering for sale vintage framed prints of the Old Masters - enjoy them as they are or use the fabulous frames for your own masterpieces. Or browse through our selection of "re-use, re-cycle" materials on offer and get your creative juices flowing - create your own works of art.

Our guest speaker on Opening Night is Gary Freemantle who is the current William Hodges Fellow (Southland Arts Foundation artist-in-residence). He will be speaking about the life of William Hodges, the artist who accompanied Captain James Cook on his second voyage of exploration to the Pacific.

12 May-4 June 2012


Featuring the talents of S.I.T. (Southern Institute of Technology) art & design tutors Peter Belton, Karl Hart, Stu King, Chris MacDonald, Rachel Mann, Kevin Miles, Kathryn Mitchell, Andy Mosse, Ruth Myers, Craig Storey and David Woolley

13 April-6 May 2012

lisa justice grace

by-products of the alcohol years

opening night 7pm friday 13 april

A kaleidoscope of visual art, including domestic sculpture viewed through the bottom of a wine glass, accompanied by colourful rhythmic prose and celebrating the launch of 'by-products of the alcohol years' publication.

This body of work is based around a series of drawings, random prose and conceptual sculptures that have evolved subconsciously over a period of time, (with the aid of a glass of wine or two). Depicting a very colourful personal biography, drawings have developed into tactile paintings with sculptural elements and everyday household items have been transformed into artworks that explore domesticity. A personal journey, fraught with angst, coupled with creativity, alcohol consumption and humour have culminated in these; ‘by-products of the alcohol years’.

16 March-10 April 2012

Paintings from the Back of the Truck

Janet de Wagt

Artist's talk: 2pm Saturday 17th March

Janet has been a working artist for 20 years, combining painting with living and travelling in different parts of the world. In New Zealand, landscapes have been the focus of her work due to the overpowering nature of the land with all the changing colours and forms. Janet is also very involved in community arts work and is the current artist in residence at Bathgate Park School (Formerly Macandrew Intermediate) in Dunedin. She also has a holiday home in Western Southland so is well acquainted with the area.

She teaches and promotes art and painting throughout the region, as well as painting and exhibiting her own work. Janet’s landscapes are expressive and accomplished, often featuring wild areas of the lower South Island, painted on site in all weathers “from the back of the truck”.

17 February-11 March 2012

Different Strokes

Group exhibition featuring paintings from Fiona Michels, Jill Howie and Narene Lucas. Guest Artist: Karen Pringle

Paintings from three emerging artists who have all studied with Guest Artist Karen Pringle. These talented Southland artists draw on a variety of inspiration - nature, colour, light, balance, buildings, landscape, imagination.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Karen Pringle

Karen studied art at Waitaki Girls’ High School, then attended Teachers Training College in Dunedin majoring in Art. She was a primary school teacher for seven years in Invercargill. She now works as a professional artist and tutor with her first exhibition in 1999. A three-time finalist in the Telecom Art Awards, Karen was the winner of the award for the Southland region in 2000. In 2002 she was winner of the Open award at the Southland Trust Art Society awards. She currently works as Tutor of Acrylic Painting at Southland Workers’ Educational Association Inc. (Southland Education) in Invercargill. Karen is represented in a number of private collections in New Zealand.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Fiona Michels

I have been painting for 8 years. My preferred painting medium is acrylic on stretched canvas. The style which I paint is smooth and clear with a harmonious balance of shape and colour. My paintings have been described as having an essence of serenity.

This collection comes from a series of photos I captured while enjoying a special day with friends on Gemstone Beach at Orepuki.

Although these pieces are different to works I have produced in the past, I have enjoyed the journey each painting has taken me on as it has evolved.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Jill Howie

I began painting as a way to express my love of colour and the pleasure of creating something new for myself.

My painting mediums are predominantly acrylic as I like their quick drying and occasionally oils which I like for their workability. I usually paint on stretched canvas.

I can't wait to put paint on the blank canvas and I never truly know how the painting will look until it is completed. I have an idea and try to keep to a plan but the painting usually has a mind of its own and I follow it. This can result in a lot of over painting. However I am usually pleased with the end result.

Inspiration for painting comes from many things, initially it is the colour and the way light falls on a subject. The ever changing landscape demands to be painted over and over.

I usually work from my own photos.

I sell my art and have been commissioned a number of times.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Narene Lucas

I am an artist based at Otatara, near invercargill. I am married with three young children.

I draw my inspiration from a wide range of subjects such as photographs, my natural surroundings & my imagination.

I love the beauty of colour & find it hard not to try & use as many colours as I can on the one canvas! Vibrant or earthy I love them all. Texture is also important & I often play around with this on my work using things such as, thick pastes & papers to achieve a different look.

The themes of my work can vary greatly. Drawn to colour & shape, I enjoy using a wide diversity of subjects.ie.our natural surroundings, buildings, plants, objects, animals, flowers.

I paint because it gives me a buzz, makes me feel happy when I have created work I am satisfied with & proud of. I am always flattered when people choose my work to display in their homes. It is a very personal compliment which is inspirational.

My style is relaxed but complex & can vary greatly depending on my mood at the time & what is happening in my life.

I have many goals set such as really capturing a feeling, an emotion, in my work. This, as well as overall improvement ie. development of techniques, experimenting with other materials. I believe we are all always learning & I can't wait to learn & develop more.

Affordable Art

20 January-12 February 2012

Celebrate the summer season with colourful, creative and affordable art and craft items - paintings, jewellery, textiles, mosaics and more. Original works to enhance your home and your life – lots to choose from at temptingly affordable prices! Or just come in and admire the artworks on offer from a variety of artists and craftspeople. All works are available to purchase for under $300.


16 December 2011-15 January 2012

This exhibition celebrates the ‘Carnival’ festival with a focus on the history of the Riverton Carnival which ran for over four decades from Boxing Day until the end of the first week in January. Photographs and memorabilia as well as recollections from top performers Suzanne Prentice and Ray Columbus and beauty pageant contestants celebrate the Carnival’s heyday. Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party. The Guest Artist is Helen Back who lives and works in Bluff. The work she is showing reflects the memories she has of carnivals she visited as a child – dark, full of magic and mystery, fragmented images of light and colour.

18 November-11 December 2011

Aparima College Art Exhibition and Banners

This exhibition, 'Sight can be Dangerous', showcased NCEA students’ photography during the year. The banners this year celebrate Riverton’s 175 year anniversary, depicting ‘Continuity and Change’ using photos and mixed media (historic photos from the Museum are being used). The students have studied them and taken photographs from the same angles showing any changes that have taken place from then till now.


Kere Menzies, Lynn Grace
22 October - 13 November
Opening Night 7pm, Saturday 22 October

Featuring: Kere Menzies – sculpture and carvings with Lynn Grace paintings.

Kere Menzies likens his artistic ability to a herbal teabag saying that something needs to drop into his head and percolate a while before the final result can be created. Working with Oamaru Stone and timber he creates inspiring pieces that nod towards the historical and often include his Maori heritage. He also uses recycled pieces that are transformed and given new life. Kere has exhibited in Riverton, Te Anau and Queenstown.

Lynn Grace is an emerging artist that has a passion for paintings that invoke feeling and mood. She particularly enjoys working with a play of colours that become subtle or are intensified with lighting. In many of her paintings you will see familiar scenes and places as many are inspired by local places, people and history. Lynn was born in Wyndham in 1969 and has been absorbed in art all her life, stimulated by the talents of her mother and grandfather.
"A remarkable joy is when others find pleasure in the art we create" - Lynn Grace

TALES OF SAILS - Fergus Sutherland
24 September - 6 October
Opening 4pm Saturday 24 September


Fergus introduces art inspired by the book 'Catlins Bound'. Written by Mike McPhee, 'Catlins Bound' tells stories of the sailing ships built by his great-grandfather. The artworks provide moody glimpses of these rugged little ships in the seas and harbours of Southern New Zealand in the 1800's.
Preview at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO95enkJ7ik

Early New Zealand Colonial Art
1 - 21 September 2011
Exhibition opening hours: Tues-Sun 11am-4pm

Lawrence William Wilson, Mt Pembroke

Riverton Arts Centre is pleased to bring you this collection of Early New Zealand Colonial Artworks featuring distinguished New Zealand artists such as: Rita Angus, Doris Lusk, Peter McIntyre, Olivia Spencer-Bower, Sydney Lough Thompson and many more.

7 May - 5 June
Preview 7pm, Friday 6 May

Ewan McDougall and ‘Neon Zealand’, a first for The Riverton Arts Centre, promises a vibrant and humorous visual symphony that will truly engage and enchant the audience.

Ewan McDougall was born in Wellington, New Zealand. His family later moved to Oamaru where he was educated at Waitaki Boys High School and taught painting by North Otago regionalist painter Colin Wheeler. Ewan attended Otago University while also working in freezing works and drumming in Rock bands. He gained an honours degree in Political Studies in 1971. He worked at Otago University as a junior lecturer and tutor before leaving to travel overseas.

Over the ensuing decade Ewan traveled extensively, working in mining, in pubs and on oilrigs. In the early 1980’s he returned to New Zealand with his partner, writer Sarah McDougall. In 1988 he was referred to Queen Mary Hospital at Hanmer Springs for treatment for addiction and while there he began to paint again. He has subsequently developed a vibrant signature style. His witty, outrageous works are inhabited by a wealth of personal references to his often volatile life.

McDougall has had sixty solo exhibitions in some prominent New Zealand dealer galleries and numerous group exhibitions as well as exhibiting internationally. In 1994 he exhibited in two group exhibitions in Penzance and St Just in Cornwall, UK. In 2003 Ewan showed in Southern Heat in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. He exhibited in the Sydney Art Show with Gallery 2021 in 2004. McDougall exhibited in London in 2005 with the prestigious West End gallery The Rebecca Hossack Gallery as well as participating in ‘Art London-the Chelsea Art Show’, The London Art Fair and the London Raw Arts Festival. Later the same year he exhibited with three other international painters at Arte Immagini Gallery in Cremona City, Italy. In 2006 he showed in the Spanish Raw Arts Festival at Color Elefante Gallery in Valencia, Spain. And in July 2008, Hard Out, Ewan’s twenty year survey exhibition opens at Dunedin’s Temple Gallery prior to touring South Island galleries.

The painter is an nine-time finalist in the James Wallace Art Awards, a finalist in the Norsewear Art Awards and a prize-winner in the Mainland and Cleveland Awards. He was a finalist in the Park Lane Art Awards in 2006 and in 2007 he was a finalist in the CoCA/Anthony Harper art awards in Christchurch. He was a finalist also in The New Zealand Portrait Gallery /Adam Portraiture Awards in 2006 and 2008. His portraits were selected as part of the touring exhibitions on both occasions. He has works in a number of Public Collections including: The Forrester Gallery, The Aigantighe Gallery,The University of Otago Auckland Centre Collection, the Dunedin Public Hospital Collection and The Centre of Contemporary Art Collection.

Artist Statement: I am an Expressionist painter. I rarely plan a painting or do preparatory drawing. I commence the work with a quick wash of strong, primary colour and then begin to hurriedly paint figures-people, animals and hybrid creatures. I add crude marks for volcanoes, hills, sea, buildings, boats, clouds, sun and moon, working with vibrant impasto. The painting forms, and informs me as to what it is. The last stroke is always the title. Above all I prize spontaneity, colour and a good dose of irony. I love being a painter.

9 April - 1 May 2011
Opening Night 7pm Friday 8 April

Please join us for drinks and nibbles at 7pm, Friday 8 April to officially open our 'Works on Paper' Exhibition. This exhibition celebrates the resurgence in popularity of works on paper. The accepted definition of works on paper includes watercolours, inks, pencil and charcoal, mixed media, artist’s books and original prints eg etchings, lithographs etc. All artworks will be available for purchase during the exhibition. Entry is free of charge and will feature artwork from Printmakers Wanaka - Olwyn Pezaro, Donald Peterson, Anne Tompkins, Rae-Ann Sinclair, Marjorie Stephenson and Sue Deason Robertson, alongside Kim Lowe, John Husband, Katy Buess, Jackie Jones, Patricia Payne, Saoirse Chapman, Lisa Grace and Isabel Bird.

Liz Hawker, Gilbert van Reenen
4 March - 3 April 2011

Stranded is an exhibition of engravings and prints that commemorates the landing of a gang of sealers on the Open Bay Islands 200 years ago. The Open Bay Islands lie 4.4km off the western shore of the South Island of New Zealand at Latitude 43o 52 minutes south and longitude 168o 53 minutes east. They are small and scrubby covered with a thick covering of a dense kiekie. They lie low to the horizon viewed from the Haast coastline. In 1809 the south west coast of New Zealand was a lonely place with few visitors. The Open Bay Islands lie to the north of the more frequented sealing grounds of Fiordland. For this reason, the islands were known for their seal colony, but ships seldom visited.

The exhibition tells the story of the sealers and the harsh environment they found themselves in after their supply ship failed to return. The gang of ten men, recruited out of Port Jackson were left in January 1810 with enough provisions to last until their ship returned.

In December 1813 The Sydney Gazette listed their return to Sydney on the schooner Governor Bligh. In an extended column the reporter recounted their tale. For the men of the Active gang surviving for nearly four years involved enduring extreme hardship and hunger. The islands and the nearby coastline provided a paucity of food and comfort. The only thing in plenty was the seal meat, in season.

The men returned with a haul of 8000 cured seal skins that they had cared for over the four years they were on the islands. In their first year on the island they had cured 10, 000 skins and were then able to retain 8000 in a saleable state. In fact, the men had resorted to wearing the sealskins when their own clothing rotted away.

A sea shanty narrating the stranding appeared shortly thereafter. It is the basis for a series of small engravings, one for each verse of the tale recounted in the voice of David Lowrieston, the leader of the gang.

Other works in the show seek to capture the sense of the stranding and use text from the contemporary accounts along with drawings and images to evoke the men and their ordeal.

South Westland has rich past and the tale of the Open Bay sealers is the first example of those who have struggled to survive in a challenging environment.

Earth, Sea, Sky & Light
5-27 February 2011
Featuring: Karen Bickley, Wayne Hill, Jeremy Pierce and Hannah McCrostie

Karen Bickley, is the Earth aspect of this exhibiton. She is a well-known Potter and Rivertonian has been involved with clay since the age of 16. Basically self-taught, she has attended various workshops and summer school and in 1993 won the pottery award at Arrowtown Autumn Festival. These pieces are her new works that are influenced and inspired by food presentation.

Wayne of the Hill, Riverton artist and sculptor, has produced exciting new works specifically for this exhibition and there is also a piece of sculpture being raffled to raise funds for resource consent to have ongoing art in our estuary.

Jeremy Pierce’s photography portrays the sky and water aspects of the exhibition. A commercial photographer, Jeremy has been taking photos for about 15 years, and this is his first galleried exhibition.

Hannah McCrostie’s work entitled ‘Urban Narrative’ is an interplay of light, shadows and the extremes of contrast. Night photography allows Hannah to explore and connect to a world that isn’t always present within our daily lives.

8-30 JANUARY 2011

Featuring Southland artists: Joan Hall-Jones, Isobel Bates, Bex Pilley, Rob Smith, Jane McCulla, Trish Cuttriss, Dawn Malloy, Errolyn Tane, Jan Gibb and Wallace Keown. These artists have combined to bring you a 'Rainbow Connexion' of artworks in varying mediums. From fibre art to metal craft, pottery and paintings, all artworks will be available for purchase and on display until Sunday 30 January at 4pm.

5 December 2010 - 2 January 2011
Opening Night Saturday 7pm, 4 December - Tickets $5/person

The Riverton Arts Centre would like to extend an invitation to the Riverton Community, Artists and friends of The Arts Centre to join us in celebrating our 10th birthday, beginning at 7pm, Saturday 4 December 2010. The exhibition and birthday event will be officially opened by Southland District Mayor Frano Cardno and guest speakers include John Husband, Alana Reid and Angela Newell. Kacey Black of Riverton will provide the entertainment. Also over the past year the Committee have been busy producing a commemorative booklet which will be launched at the opening and available for purchase. Tickets for opening night are available from the Arts Centre at $5 per person.

Over the past decade the Arts Centre has been the hub of creativity in Riverton with performance, musical and visual delights that have enhanced the lives of many. For the exhibition we have invited approximately 35 artists who have chosen what they would like to display and what best reflects them as a visual artist. Included are: Ewan McDougall, Patricia Payne, Maurice Middleditch, John Wishart, Kim Lowe, Janet de Wagt, Dawn Barry, Karen Pringle, Mark Sharma, Rachel Hirabayashi, DEOW VS GORSE and many more. Our hours during the exhibition are: Wednesday through Sunday 12noon-4pm.

Riverton Arts Centre and Aparima College Present:
Aparima College Year 10 Banner Exhibition
30 November, 1 & 2 December

Please join the Aparima College Year 10 students for the exhibition opening and awards announcement on Tuesday 30 November at 12.40pm. Year 10 students have been creating street banners to beautify Palmerston Street over the festive season with this year's focus on Community Groups in Riverton. Our hours during the exhibition are 12-4pm Tuesday 30th, Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd.

GWEN HENDERSON (Burt Munro's Daughter)
11 - 28 NOVEMBER
Opening Night 7pm Wednesday 10 November

It is 2010, and the Riverton Community Arts Centre is in its tenth year of operation. At this time we have an incredibly unique opportunity as a community and Arts Centre to host Southland icon Burt Munro’s daughter’s, inaugural art exhibition here in Riverton. Gwen Henderson is not only the daughter of world famous land speed legend, Burt Munro, but an original abstract artist in her own right.

This November, Gwen travelled down from Whangarei specifically for her exhibition entitled ‘The Black Line and Other’, we have managed to coordinate this exhibition with The Burt Munro Challenge weekend. Southland born Henderson (nee Munro) went to St. George School and Southland Girls High. As a child she liked to draw streamlined shapes, mainly cars, but didn’t do any artwork while working, gardening and raising a family. Her continuing interest and study in botany and horticulture gave her the urge to paint plants and in the 1980’s she started, untutored in watercolours.

In time Gwen became interested in painting with acrylic and produced work in a variety of subject matter. She visited a great number of art museums in the Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, London and Australia and became more interested in Modern Art and Abstraction, which to Gwen is more cerebral as opposed to Realism and “No matter how beautifully executed, is a form of copying”.

As a member of the Northland Society of Arts since moving from Auckland, Gwen has been painting with an untutored group ‘The Wednesday Painters’ and since early this year has also shared a space on Tuesday’s with four others of similar interest – ‘The Party House Painters’.

“I would love to paint full-time but still have a large garden, home, husband and dog in the equation”.

Because Gwen’s exhibition coincided with the Burt Munro Challenge event, she has produced some works relating to speed and the idea of her Father’s feats on the salt flats and a couple of realistic sunsets at Oreti Beach where he raced so often. A small watercolour of a bay on Stewart Island is also included in the exhibition.

Gwen has fond memories of blissful holidays at Riverton Rocks, so “Where better to exhibit some of my work, and at 80 years young I have a forceful need to keep painting”.

Janet de Wagt - Birdseye View
8 - 31 October 2010

Riverton Arts Centre is proud to announce the launch of Janet de Wagt's new works in a first time exhibition entitled 'Birdseye View'. Janet's latest body of work includes a continuation of the cut-out shape theme combining landscapes and seascapes. The Royal Albatross is a new addition to Janet's repertoire, where she celebrates these majestic birds by painting seascapes, on location, directly onto the albatross shape. Janet's paintings are in acrylic and are all available at very reasonable prices for purchase. Please join us for an Artist's talk & coffee on Saturday 30 October at 2pm.


Many of Tony's recent paintings express aspects of nature either terrestrial or celestial and reflect his interest in the formal relationship between sound and painting. He is concerned with the concept of ritual within the painting process, namely making marks with paint and other mediums that translate audible sound into visual form. The marks that are produced are synchronised with an immediate response to sound (usually produced vocally) using specific controlled body movement and fluidity. The sounds he makes or responds to, are rhythmic and repetitive in nature. He chooses to experiment with Euclidean/geometric forms for their intrinsic nature like music, to communicate on a universal level. He frequently take refuge in the circular composition because it possesses its own force of expression and symbolically represents continuation and motion of life in all its guises and seems an appropriate platform to express the intent of organic rhythm.

In this exhibition Lee reveals the pulsating evolution of his waveform patterns that have references to sound and light. Over the last 5 or 6 years Lee’s art has been evolving intuitively through multiple levels of patterns, layers, systems, processes and textures. Along with being a dedicated and visionary painter Lee is also a drum and bass producer and approaches painting and producing electronic music by evolving similar systems of thought. Instinctively he synthesises many themes, techniques and effects creating refined images loaded with similes and metaphors, and are influenced by computer generated images of sound. This reveals an intriguing exploration and awareness of aesthetics, identity, colour and texture. Lee’s painting is a fusion of neo expressionism (a sub sect of postmodernism) and Tachism (a more controlled or meditative version of Abstract Expressionism) and his latest work has been an attempt to illustrate the patterning of waveforms, i.e. Visualisation of sound. From 1994 –1997 Lee completed his Diploma in Fine Arts majoring in sculpture / Mixed Media at the Oamaru School of Art, Otago Polytechnic and has completed a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching, (Visual Arts and Art History).

2 - 25 APRIL

Pam and Roddy McMillan have combined to bring you this fascinating exhibition of painted landscapes and bronze sculptures. In 2007 Roddy McMillan began bronze casting and sculpted his first piece, the famous Bluff oyster. He worked alongside bronze sculptor Colin Webster-Watson and in 2008 worked on a life-size bronze of John Balance in Napier for the Whanganui gardens. Pam’s painting career began in the early 70’s, where her love of the mountains and lakes of Central Otago and the Caitlins area are expressed in many of her works.

Opening Night Friday 5 March, 7.30pm

Please join us on Friday 5 March at 7.30pm for opening night of our Apple Iconography in Art Exhibition celebrating the start of Riverton’s Apple Harvest Festival in conjunction with The South Coast Environment Centre. Our idea for the exhibition sprung from the success of the 2009 Heritage Apple Festival where The Environment Centre organised an educational weekend of displays, workshops and family fun all themed on heritage fruit and veges; how to choose them, grow them, harvest them and preserve them. Workshops on seed saving, cider making, preserving fruit, propagating berries, what to plant in Autumn etc. (See www.sces.org.nz for pictures and more info on Harvest Festival 2009 & 2010).

The aim for the ‘Apple Iconography in Art’ exhibition is to explore apples in art, including religious aspects eg: Adam & Eve showcasing the apple as a symbol of sin, Greek mythology and the many themes of apples in art through the ages; including popular art, still life, photography, poetry and comic art.

We know that apples appear in many religious traditions, often as a mystical or forbidden fruit and though the forbidden fruit in the Book of Genesis is not identified, popular Christian tradition has held that it was an apple that Eve coaxed Adam to share with her. This may have been the result of Renaissance painters adding elements of Greek Mythology into biblical scenes. In this case the unnamed fruit of Eden became an apple under influence of the story of the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides.

The Riverton Arts Centre invited local Artists to explore apple themes and they’ve come up with some hardcore interpretations; some a little seedy; some with plenty of skin and some a little controversial! We hope that nobody gets the pip!

NB: A gold coin donation is appreciated.

Fine Art Prints for Hire Exhibition

5 – 28 February 2010

Almost 300 prints were collected by Fred Hall-Jones initially for the newly formed Art Gallery at Southland Museum to make art through the ages accessible to the schools and people of Southland. In 2004 Fred & Joan Hall-Jones donated them to The Riverton Arts Centre. This exhibition is to promote awareness of the framed collection The Arts Centre has available to rent. Prints by the Masters such as Fra Angelico, Sandro Botticelli, Paul Cezanne, John Constable, Salvador Dali and Michelangelo to name a few are available to rent at just $1.00 per painting per week. These are a great educational resource for schools in the study of Art and Art History with close to 300 available.

Riverton Arts Centre Presents: ‘Miscellany’ By Jackie Jones and Brigitte Kämmlein
2 – 31 January 2010

Our January 2010 Exhibition is entitled ‘Miscellany’ by Jackie Jones and Brigitte Kämmlein and runs from 2 January to 31 January 2010. Jackie is currently doing her honours in the Diploma of Art and Creativity at the Learning Connexion in Wellington. Brigitte, originally from Switzerland, is a graduate of Dunedin Art School where she studied printing with Marilyn Webb. She has been a White Pages Art Awards winner twice, in Timaru and Dunedin in 2008. At present she lives on the Otago Peninsula. The exhibition will include a variety of artworks from woodcuts and etchings, monoprints, collage, paintings and artists’ books.

Affordable Art Exhibition – Art priced under $200

4 December – 31 December 2009

Yes, it’s that time of the year again, Christmas is looming and we’re hosting a colourful and affordable exhibition to nourish your soul and give your Christmas a creative kick. In this exhibition our aim is to exhibit art more accessible to those with limited incomes and budgets. December is a great month sales-wise, and especially summertime in Riverton when all the holiday-makers return to their holiday homes, and the visitors, local, national and international, come to our little River Town. So come and feast your eyes on our fantastic local, affordable art for all your Christmas needs!

Featured Artists include: Mags Meechang, Dawn Barry, Sue Wademan, Danny Owen, Gwen Chaloner,
Marilyn Andrews, Chris Love-Thomson, Rodney Heenan, Gaye McElroy, Emma Coppin, Chris Flavell,
Tui Johnson and Cala Paenga.

WHere's Burt? Mota-Cicle Exhibition
6 November - 29 November 2009

Showcasing the 'Art of Motorcycles' to coincide with Burt Munro weekend for bike enthusiasts and art lovers alike! Wayne Hill in conjunction with The Riverton Arts Centre is presenting this unique and interesting exhibition not only in tribute to Burt Munro but to all those who tinker around in their 'Man Caves' (or garden sheds) with whatever they feel like! This is an exhibition that will showcase some of those aging (and not-so aging) bits of machinery transformed into both motorcycles and motorcycle art.
Homegrown – Emerging Artists Exhibition
9 October – 1 November 2009
Opening Night Friday 9 October 7.30pm

Featuring a colourful collection of up & coming artists, young & old(ish), revealing a diverse range of styles and abilities. We have emerging artists from Riverton, Invercargill, Gore, and as far a field as Queenstown displaying their artworks. From Felted Egyptian Crown's, fox masks and Aesop's Fables to Graffiti Art and Contemporary Landscapes - something for everyone.

Featured Artists: Gaye McElroy, Louise Craig, Danny Owen, Bex Pilley, Jacqueline Jones, Jill Howie, Helga Coolman, Gwen Chaloner, Hannah McCrostie, Kelly Cormack, Helen Flavell, Ann-Marie Jenkins, Merin Williams, Joy Mockford, Chris Love-Thomson, Ashleigh Mennell and Bonnie Gill.

‘The Beauty of Botanical Art’
4 September – 4 October

Opening Night Friday 4 September 7.30pm With Artist Talk, Coffee & Cake

Featuring ‘Specimen’; a contemporary jewellery exhibition by Lynn Kelly exhibited during the Christchurch Arts Festival in the Christchurch Art Gallery with botanical paintings and drawings by Tim Galloway. Jo Ogier and renowned New Zealand Botanical Artist Janet Marshall will also feature alongside floral artists from the Western Southland Floral Art Club and Macro-photographer Jenni Petterson.

Lynn has been creating botanically-themed jewellery for many years, often using historical botanical illustrations as source material. Meanwhile Tim has worked as a botanical illustrator for 28 years, working for many institutions including Kew Gardens Herbarium, Te Papa and several universities.

The exhibition combines these two backgrounds and talents. Three NZ native plants have been chosen for the show. Permission to collect specimens was kindly given by the Dunedin Botanic Garden. Tim pressed and mounted these specimens, which have now been accessioned into the Otago University Herbarium. From the herbarium specimens, Tim produced pen and ink illustrations, which he then hand-coloured in much the same way as historical botanical lithographs were. Lynn has produced works in a variety of media which reflect the botanical themes of the illustrations.

The original herbarium specimens (which will later be sterilised and laid in to the Herbarium) are included in the show since they are the natural starting point from which all the exhibited work was developed. The resulting exhibition chronicles the meticulous order of the botanical illustrations, which give rise to Lynn’s more spontaneous work and some ‘looser’ botanically-inspired illustrations by Tim.

NB: There is a gold coin entry for this exhibition (After opening night) as we are raising funds to host even more breathtaking events! Support your local Arts Centre, come along to opening night and chat with the artists and other like-minded folk.

From Form to Fashion
A mixed media exhibition for May arts month.
1 May - 31 May 2009
Opening night Friday 1 May at 7.30pm Tickets $10.00 available from Arts Centre

If you love Art and you love Fashion this exhibition is for you! Riverton Arts Centre is hosting an exhibition entitled ‘From Form to Fashion’ beginning Friday 1 May – Sunday 31 May 2009 as part of Southland May Arts Month. In this exhibition we aim to take a small Southern NZ slice of that evolutionary process showcasing a selection of Southern artists who have contributed to the art fused fashion industry in one way or another. We are anticipating showcasing different mediums and processes that blend art, form, fashion and function. For example; fashion through photography, screen printing and the process of hand spun and dyed woollen apparel; to fibre-art and felted articles; to period garments, performance art costumes and wearable art. We will show the diversity of skills, techniques, ideas and samples of the creative fusions that selected Southland artists have produced.

Opening night will be complete with a fashion show through the ages featuring a personal collection of vintage clothing from collector, Yannicka Malone, with matching era music.

Opening night tickets are for sale at $10/person. (Includes fashion show and refreshments).

Artists in Schools Project 2008
3 April – 26 April 2009
Opening Night Friday 3 April 7.30pm

Artist Janet deWagt, was invited to work with Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 students to celebrate the 50 years James Hargest College has been open. 50 artworks were created symbolising the years 1958-2008 using a variety of media and techniques.

The governing idea was to celebrate the schools 50th year 1958-2008, by creating commemorative, collaborative art works incorporating many aspects of the school and wider community during this time frame. Janet wanted the students to produce 50 long narrow art works to be displayed around the school as this is Janet’s signature format.

After Janet’s introduction to the students and the art room environment, a studio area was set up for her to work in. Janet created artworks with themes from surrounding area to demonstrate her painting technique and style. She then discussed her technique and motivation for making art works; her working schedule, day to day commitments and work ethic.

The ‘Cupcake Unit’ was integrated into the first paintings produced by the students. This unit involved icing cupcakes, photographing them and making paintings using Wayne Thiebaud as an artist model. Janet also made portrait studies of students working around the room and took photographs of students to keep a record and work back into at a later date.

In the Keep New Zealand Green week 5-12 September Janet provided Kiwi templates for students to use to create images for Keep NZ green week. Students designed slogans envisaged to encourage the wider school to put their rubbish away in a bin. Each student had a letter from the slogan to create inside the kiwi templates which were arranged around the school to help focus on the Keep NZ green message.

Also developed in conjunction with these other activities, were boards the students were working every lesson toward the end of the residency. Janet will helped the students make templates with stencils, woodblock prints, and other mark making utensils, sponges etc. A wide range of subject matter was used to produce these boards.

Senior students, Year 11-13, also benefited from Janet’s input into their NCEA external folios as Janet offered advice and guidance to students working in the same studio area. James Hargest College staff also had the opportunity to work with Janet and created a personalised Art book.

‘From Across the Seas’- Janet de Wagt
6 March - 29 March 2009
Opening Night with Artist Talk Friday 6 March 7.30pm - ALL WELCOME

Acknowledging her Dutch heritage has inspired artist Janet deWagt to create art works that reflect her love for her father’s native homeland. “From Across the Seas” celebrates her father’s journey to New Zealand, bringing with him his Dutch culture and family history.

The imagery that her Father brings is the imagery of the 1950’s frozen at that point in time. All travellers to New Zealand have to come ‘over the seas’. With this in mind Janet has merged these visual images with her family history and her sense of New Zealand identity. The wave of Dutch immigrants in the 50’s is celebrated in Janet’s exhibition.

As a kiwi child the family “across the seas” were symbolised by photographs, letters, Dutch food, and Dutch Gin! “I might have been brought up as a Kiwi, but genetically I can’t fight my gene pool” While it was a shock to Janet, her recent diagnosis of breast cancer has allowed her to add a twist to this exhibition. Janet acknowledges her cancer in her artworks and the “journey” that the disease has also travelled throughout her Dutch whakapapa and family history. Although I cannot speak Dutch, I haven’t escaped my Dutch genes and this has been made more significant by the diagnosis of breast cancer and subsequent mastectomy. Like Rembrant’s women, Janet is larger than life, her artworks reflect the energy, beyond the black and white shadows, putting the process in a visual context through Rembrant paintings.

The glass hearts symbolise the shadows on the walls, continuous words from her childhood, Friesland and Dutch, the difference in language and in someways they appear as completely different countries.

The Friesland canal boat bobbing around on a huge a Pacific Sea, symbolises what happened to a lot of the Dutch when they came here, “just bobbing up and down”, very isolated. The old traditional Dutch symbols slowly disappear and the ‘free’ symbols of New Zealand birds take over – in part my father always liked birds! I have used copper leaf and gold leaf, as that symbolises “old Dutch” for me.

My father in his army uniform, shows what he left behind, his family, way of life on a small farm, and he was coming to a big unknown. He knew he would be working on a farm, hence the ‘sheep’.

The Kiwis reflect Dutch colours, Dutch lace – the homeland, held together in memories, the past of the homeland is contained in the present.

“From Across the Seas” exhibition is only the part of this journey. Janet has begun a large body of work which will continue expanding and travelling to other centers. As part of this process Janet is in the process of seeking a residency in Holland in order to further expand and develop the visual imagery of Dutch Migration to New Zealand exploring the Dutch view of immigration to the ‘other side'.

A Balance of Options
13 February - 1 March 2009
Opening Night Friday 13 February 7.30pm - ALL WELCOME

A solo exhibition by Invercargill multi media and graffiti Artist 'DEOW' AKA Danny Owen.

Born in the southernmost city of the world in the mid 1980’s; Deow, like most artists, exhibited a passion for drawing and scribbling from infancy. Nurtured by an artistic family, and fired with a fierce competitive spirit, he still recalls that his yearning to excel pitted him in torrid combatative brawls with pens and pencils against his equally driven cousins

Adolescence was as troubled as anyone’s but he found a new sense of balance in a fate that took him to Anaheim, California. There, a vista of highway walls stretched in endless ribbons of graffiti across the landscape. Tenement blocks were carpet bombed with the unfettered outpourings of an unruly Californian Youth – soul and heartbeat and angst floated free as the air across the Californian landscape – a signature – a vibrant reminder that artistic expression is not content to subsist, diffidently within the breast but must sport and display itself before the eyes of the world.

As a child to its mother’s milk, Deow suckled on the artistic licence of the new land. As his passions inflamed, huge gaps appeared in local spray can stocks. Armed with little more than his expressive urge and an OLD ENGLISH calligraphy font, He brought an antipodean idiom to the Los Angeles streets. His mark lingers there still – in places possible and impossible to reach.

Deow returned to New Zealand possessed by a demonic urge to smother gray, lifeless, urban walls with hues and colours and the stuff of life. As the Californians pondered the mystery of his lingering idioms in Los Angeles, Deow splashed his mark across the dusty old walls of Southland and Otago. He layered the grime of centuries with the sparkle of new life and now apologises for any coronaries that the makeover caused the more conservative beneficiaries of his noble and gratuitous art.

From then to now is but a whisper of breath - the heady anarchic days of youth are now tempered by the years; the outpourings mellowed by the experience and joy of life. Expression has taken on a new life, legitimacy and a new currency of meaning. His graffiti and street Art has found its way into the mainstream. Launched with a solo exhibition billed as Art of Fact, Deow has rehabilitated the raw rebellion of the streets into legitimate expression of soul and heart. He now teaches Art at the YMCA to young people with the same urgings as his own youth. So whilst he has the respectability of exhibiting with Southland’s best artists in the Annual Spring Exhibition , he also, now, brings an empathy to his classroom, encouraging and guiding and nurturing the creative spirit of youth

When he is not teaching or doing commissions or working collaboratively, Deow fills his days with custom painting surf boards, design work, street style art and canvass work. The rest of his days, and many of his nights, he will indulge his other passion – surfing. For Deow, the sea is yet another canvas on which to express himself. He etches his way down the smooth faces and splashes and swirls through the spume, creating patterns and forms to tantalise with a mere whisper of existence. Who knows, perhaps these images filter through to the sub conscious mind and emerge, unbidden, into the oils and the brush stroke. Perhaps, when we see Deow riding the waves along the Riverton Coastline we are watching the birth of another artwork. Can you see the essence of Riverton in these works. Look harder, it will be there somewhere.

Southern Landscapes
15 January - 8 February 2009

A selection of Southern Artists were invited to contribute to a 'Southern Landscapes' exhibition to start of the beginning of the 2009 arts year. We chose a 'Southern Landscapes' theme to celebrate our environment and the artists that capture the essence of where we live. Artists have committed images of the Southland Landscape to canvas since, the European settlers arrived in the province in the 1840’s, at the beginning providing the only visual record of the new country. Today this tradition continues with many Southland artists making their living in this genre. It is an accessible and popular art form – appealing to both residents and visitors in equal numbers. Images of Fiordland and the Wakatipu have been very well documented, but the Southland landscape is less well known. Our concept for this exhibition is to gather views of Southland from regionally important artists.

Featuring artworks by: Nigel Wilson, Janet de Wagt, Pat Hall, John Husband, Wayne Edgerton, Kirk Munro, Rachel Hirabayashi, Dawn Barry, John Wishart, Brett Duncan, Inge Doesburg, Barry Robson, Jane Duncan, Maree Beker, and Tess Van Dijk.

Entry: Free. All artworks are for sale.

Where: Riverton Arts centre, 129 Palmerston Street, Riverton.

Outdoor Odyssey
12 December 08 - 11 January 09

Sculpture by Stuart King

Take a journey through the Riverton Art Centre’s (Indoor) ‘Outdoor Odyssey’ exhibition this December and experience the 3 dimensional figures, shapes and forms created by local artists, sculptors, carvers, potters and furniture makers who have combined to deliver you a Summer garden art fiesta.

Beginning at the entranceway of the Centre, a garden path welcomes you on your voyage of discovery and an exhibition delivers you an imaginative interpretation of our Kiwi obsession with outdoor living that merges art, function, entertainment and enjoyment. As you continue through the exhibition you can interact with pieces individually inspired, including interpretations of our natural environment, culture and Southern heritage; where 3 dimensional stories and emotions are skilfully conveyed and are creatively confined within the core of the object.

Take a seat in one of the pieces of organic garden furniture that relax next to the clean lines of Oamaru stone sculptures and contemplate conceptual works by Invercargill sculptors John Wishart and Stuart King.

Other contributing artists include: Karen Bickley, Wayne Hill, Gordon and Wendy Harris, Rob Smith and Clayton Roe.

Entry is free, sales are very welcome.

Aparima College Year 10 Street Banner Exhibition
28 November - 7 December 2008
Celebrating 150 Years of Education in Riverton and District Schools

Proudly Sponsored by Lions International, The Southland Times and Southland District Council, and under the guidance of Anne-Marie Eastwood, Aparima College Year 10 Students have designed Street Banners depicting '150 Years of Education of Riverton and District Schools'. These Banners will be displayed in Palmerston Street, Riverton over the festive season.

First Place awarded to Ashley Kennedy - St. Columba School 1913 - 1972 Second Place awarded to Danielle Boniface and Cate Dillon - Riverton Primary School 1974 Third Place awarded to Dean Van Brecht and Callum Ashley - Waipango School Highly Commended was Sam West and Eden Seater - Gummies Bush School 1866 - 1948 Also Highly Commended was Cassandra Scott-Laffey and Layla Buckland-Lonneker for their depiction of Riverton District High School 1859 - 1973

Schools represented in the exhibition include: Round Hill School, Fairfax School 1891 - 1957, Oraki School 1886 - 1938, Pahia School 1885 - 1971, Waimatuku School 1889 - 1990, Thornbury School 1883, Wild Bush School 1872 - 1947, Granity School 1912 - 1962, Ermedale School 1915 - 1939, Gropers Bush School 1872 - 1880, Solomans House School 1860 - 1890, Orepuki School 1872 - 2003, Colac Bay School 1880 - 1991 and Aparima College 1974.

Of the 21 schools that were served the Riverton and Districts area, only 4 schools now remain.

All Thingz R 2
31 October - 23 November 2008
By Wayne Hill & Chris Flavell

Riverton 'surfies' Wayne Hill and Chris Flavell have combined their artistic forces in a single exhibition showcasing around 50 pieces of artwork that explore the duality of all things; not only reflected in the subject matter of each artists paintings, but in the differing styles of each artists work. These differences also have a cultural element with Wayne being of Pakeha descent and Chris, Maori. Wayne's artwork has an 'unstructured freedom' where Chris' paintings are very 'structured' and tackle subjects such as child abuse and depression. Each of Chris' paintings tell a story which is the purpose of Maori art and his interpretation of the exhibition title played on the daily cycle of the sun and moon. "As one takes over from the other, the other lets go". Wayne uses alot of castaway objects so he is not so restricted by the cost of materials. His paintings express alot of different emotions including the light-hearted, but many have also been influenced by the death of his Father just over a year ago. While the pair's artworks are "totally different" and "worlds apart" they are both saying the same thing.

3 OCTOBER - 26 OCTOBER, 2008 'HIDDEN FALLS AND OTHER PLACES' An exhibition of abstract in oils on linen and paper, by Emma Milburn, a Dunedin artist. Fascinating pieces, with some of the work relating to the South Island, in particular, the Hollyford area.

MAY: 5th - 5th JUNE, 2008 NOT BORED - Wayne Hill Wayne Hill, a renowned surfer, poet and visual artist, is offering Riverton a unique show. He celebrates 40 years with a surfboard, so come and share his stories, feel the surf and ride the waves.

“It started out being a distant ‘I dare’, a dream, a few years ago. Now, a celebration of 40 years of surfing, a way of telling you the many gifts a surfing life has given me. Being at one with nature, with reality, a way to wash away the world’s rubbish. Some days and some nights you go to a heaven, just you and your insignificance, basking in the beauty of it all. Which brings me to the here and now, a dream turned into a reality.”


There are different icons that are associated with Southland, whether it is the Bluff oyster, paua patties, muttonbirds, the cabbage tree, even Invercargill's import, Tim Shadbolt! The most understated icon of the South is, however, the humble toasted cheese roll. What can be more delicious than biting into toasted bread smothered in butter, a warm smooth creamy cheese filling mixing with the butter dripping down your chin? This, with a mug of hot soup for lunch during the coldest of a Southern winter, cannot be compared. The cheese roll is simple, sustaining and tasty and can be enjoyed anytime for a snack, breakfast, morning tea, supper, or during a sports game.

The toasted cheese roll must be the biggest fundraiser in Southland, providing funding for community projects, such as Schools and Sports Clubs, and is found in most cafes, lunch bars, and supermarkets.

It is believed that the cheese roll is only relevant to Southland, its history, according to recipe books dates back to the late 1950's and early 1960's, resulting in an evolution of various fillings over time.

We welcome anyone with a story to tell about the cheese rolls, what memories does the delicacy evoke for you?

On September 27th, 2008 the Riverton Community Arts centre organised a fun day, towards the end on the exhibition of 'Toasting The Cheese Roll.'A chance for individuals and business people to compete for the best cheese roll title with a trophy. In addition, an exhibition relating to cheese rolls, the history of its origins, and inviting stories about the cheese roll with their recipes. Poems and stories from all ages were popular with the public. Profiles featuring well known identities, with their memories and opinions of the cheese roll, as they chatted informally on a DVD presented throughtout the exhibition. The fundraising day which sold cheese rolls as a fundraiser and thoughtout the month, also featured a cheese roll making demonstration, 'How many cheese rolls can you eat?' eat off, "Guess the Weight of the pkt of cheese rolls."

An auction finished off the day, with a 'piece de art' kindly painted by Nigel Brown, and six wonderful cartoons created with a cheese roll flavour from 'Chicane.'

Community Trust of Southland Creative Communities NZ Southland District