Waiheke Island Art, Auckland
It’s been a creative magnet for years and, as the island’s population has grown (it sits somewhere around the 10K mark right now), so has its measure of artists.
Mike Morgan’s been living on the island for 14 years now. It was a good move for him. Turfing his mainland-based job as a steelworker and tucking into some serious surrealism, his creative output increased dramatically.
He’s finished over 700 paintings to date. They’re hot property—and not just here in NZ. It doesn’t take long for the red dots to appear on canvases exhibited in New York galleries.
He’s a local legend, but he’s not alone. Waiheke has netted hundreds with similar creative credibility; 36 of which open their studios to the general public. Sculptors, painters, potters—it’s worth taking a wander.
The island also plays host to super-sized sculpture; outdoor edifices that rise gloriously from the sea and coastal hillsides.
A two-week biennial exhibition, each installation is designed to interact with its backdrop. These huge structures are spectacular and leave the observer feeling like small-fry in an Alice-in-Wonderland world.
One such installation in now a permanent resident on Waiheke. Contour, a silver coil of corrugated steel by Jeff Thompson, will forever snake across the Atewhai Whenua reserve.
It takes just over half an hour to reach Waiheke by ferry. Give it a little longer, and you too will understand why so many mainlanders have shunned Auckland’s shores for Waiheke’s unsullied bays and eclectic ways.