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Art & Culture

Mercury Bay Art Escape People’s Choice Award

Each year during the Mercury Bay Art Escape a showcase exhibition is held at Hot Waves café, Hot Water Beach with voting to select one artist’s work for the People’s Choice award. This year artist Michael Harrison from Tairua is the winner for the second time, having won the award as a new Coromandel artist five years ago.
 |  Lynette Gaia  | 

Michael with his art that won “People’s Choice Award” with proprietor Ryan of Kaizan Go Vino ready to present his gift voucher.

The prize is a meal voucher for $150 kindly donated by Ryan at Kaizen Go Vino in Cooks Beach.

Michael and his partner John retired to Tairua nearly a decade ago where Michael became an active in local art groups and both of them became committed and involved in local community activities.

Michael has continued to develop his art from his home studio, a tranquil, creative space nestled into their garden on Paku Hill. Deeply imbibed in his Coromandel environment, interspersed with times of stimulating travel, Michael innovates with materials and textures with colour, light and form integral to his art.

As a lover of landscapes and landforms, Michael is drawn to painting moods at different times of the day, the intensity and angles of light, textures and the alternating colours of land and water.

His winning piece at Hot Waves Café, Beyond the Boundary, is a landscape with a lichen covered fence anchoring a sense of purpose and time to the environment. Continuing his innovative techniques, this piece incorporates alcohol inks and acrylic paint on yupo (synthetic paper).

According to Michael, having experimented with various different mediums he finds this combination allows the flexibility to create more complex effects. Michael is a well-deserved and popular winner of the 2024 People’s Choice award.