Sunday, 27 September 2020


Art Escape Gala Opening an evening to remember

The sold-out Gala Opening of the Mercury Bay Art Escape’s 2020 Festival of Art on Friday evening last week at Hot Waves Café in Hot Water Beach was an evening to remember.

In addition to spectacular art on display in the Showcase Exhibition (a collection of work from all of the Art Escape’s member artists), renowned potter, Peter Lange MNZM, captivated everyone present with a highly entertaining slideshow of his journey as an artist.

Peter started out as a potter in 1973. Fifteen years later, he journeyed into making things from clay that, in his words, “Looked like the real thing and was functional.”

In 2005 Peter started making objects out of bricks, including recliner chairs. That was followed by “brick weaving” and building a caravan out of bricks. “Every Kiwi bloke needs to build a caravan and a boat in his lifetime,” Peter said.

Indeed, a few years later, a boat followed. On the day of it’s launch in Auckland, the brick boat sported a steel sail, a “flame flag” and statue in the form of none other than McGillicuddy Serious Party founder, Graham Cairns.

In between being a Kiwi bloke, Peter took an interested in kilns and have over the years used almost every thinkable and unthinkable material to fire his pottery pieces. Among the materials he used were old car wrecks (including the wreck of a Mercedes Benz), blocks of ice, phone directories and logs of wood. “It was quite spectacular when the kiln started going up in flames,” Peter said.

Peter’s presentation was followed by Whitianga resident and former thoroughbred auctioneer, Joe Walls MNZM, auctioning off two art pieces - a sculpture from Peter and a limited edition woodprint from “the elder of Pacific art in New Zealand” and Thames residen,t Fatu Feu’u ONZM. Joe was at his very best, not only extracting constant laughs from the audience, but also two very impressive successful bids.

During the evening, the Art Escape member artists were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite Showcase Exhibition art piece in the “Artists’ Choice Award.” There was a large round of applause when Tairua carver, Tim Aldrich’s wood and copper creation, “Annie Ample,” was announced as the winner.

Pictired is Tim (on the left) receiving his “Artists’ Choice Award” basket of goodies from Art Escape chairman, Ian Preece.

See the advertisement on page 9 of this week's Informer for information on the Festival of Art activities this week and this coming weekend (14 and 15 March).


Latest business rest of site

Mainly Casual

Owner Su Marceau has been in the fashion industry for over 16 years with her Mainly Casual clothing stores in Whitianga, Whangamata and Thames.


Do you plan to vote in next month’s general election and referendums?

The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.