Muriwai Soaring - Art Exhibition - Featuring Artists

Joss Hong Jewellery  

Joss Hong

Joss attended jewellery art school in Barcelona, Spain and New Zealand. Her Chinese and Aotearoa heritage form a strong foundation for her work. Muriwai Beach where she has lived for over 25 years is a constant inspiration. Black sand, wild surf, dramatic sunsets, amazing flora and fauna, and a wonderful community. Her works echo cherished symbols, values and experiences from the past with a desire to focus on the positive aspects of life. Joss handcrafted silver pieces typically feature the special JOSS 8 stamp, the most auspicious number in Chinese culture - associated with happiness, success and prosperity. When you wear, gift or receive a piece of Joss, it is intended that a large part of this ethos will travel with you. CELEBRATE LIFE. 

The launch of her collection at The Fantail House is titled 'Soaring'. It is inspired by observing the birds soaring at Muriwai evoking feelings of freedom, movement, energy and joy. Come fly with me!

Artist Pat Henley 

Pat Henley

I began my artistic journey painting liquid dyes on to dampened silk scarves which sold throughout NZ. After28 Years I sold this business and determined to learn to paint “properly” , I attended Matthew Browne’s Art School. There I discovered my passion for painting with acrylic ink. This has continued for the last 8  years.

I love the intensity of colour, the freedom of gesture, and the unexpected movement of the inks when they contact a dampened surface. I quickly became engrossed in turning random marks and patterns into paintings. 

This way of creating is ideally suited to the wild, untamed nature of sea, sky and bush in Muriwai where I live - and I have used it that way in the past.

    Depicting Faces, or “Selves” as I call my current fascination, to transfer that wild, energetic looseness to the discipline of the human face - would it work? 

Well, I have had fun finding out!

    Gazing into these “ Selves” (or Faces) , with their eyes often looking back at me, takes me into my own inner world allowing me to acknowledge parts of myself and to wonder.

And I hope they express too, the energy and intensity that is part of living at Muriwai!

I have 12 paintings in this series and if you are interested in seeing the others please look at my website. -

Martin Bailey 

Martin Bailey

Martin Bailey has worked as a freelance illustrator in the advertising, film and publishing industries for over 40 years.

As a Muriwai resident for over 25 of those years, a move to create art relating to the area has been inevitable.

Originally an airbrush artist, Martin’s work is now completely digital, from preparatory work on his ipad to completion in photoshopon his imac. The files are then used to create a giclee print on museum grade 100% cotton fine art paper. 

Artworks (signed and dated)

Gaylene Earl 

Gaylene Earl


I have long been spontaneous with my mark making, not overly fussy or perfect in my art making, trusting that the viewer will find their own way into my work, make their own discoveries. That they enjoy, as I do in Nature, the random, the unfinished, the incomplete or semi broken. Seeing in this natural manifestation a pleasing perfection of its own.

I have recently come to understand that this approach to life, in Japan, is called Wabi Sabi; and so I find I have been Wabi Sabi - ing my art and life all along.  I trust you enjoy this aspect too.

My love and my concern for the natural environment has seen me experimenting with multiple medium over the past two decades.

A specific response to an experience in or a concern for nature along with not wasting and reducing our impact on nature has then been a catalyst for my work.

My Colour field works, lacking a visual reference are designed to engulf the viewer and engage them in a contemplation. There is a sense of movement, depth, texture and the possibility of change. They are intended to be entered, read and explored as aspects of nature.

The Stacked Skyscape/landscape works whilst referencing the daily repetition and contemplation of walking the Camino Santiago Pilgrimage trail in Northern Spain, draws visually from the New Zealand landscape.

All of my Playing with Paper Series arise from  the preceding Series as I seek to utilize, extend and push my boundaries on the leftover materials. The paper may be torn, cut, stacked, layered, sculpted, folded, and part attached.

Commissions accepted.

Laetitia Decan 

Laetitia Decan

Born in 1987 Laetitia Decan is a self-taught painter and tattoo artist from the south of France.

Since October 2018 Muriwai. This superb place has given her inspiration to create new works on the theme of the Ocean and this beautiful country, with different techniques and support.

For this exhibition "Soaring Muriwai" The waves are in the spotlight. Laetitia wants you to feel the energy of the ocean and the multitude of colours that emerge from it.

Nature is her source of inspiration and she also hopes that by transmitting it on different media, people will be made aware of the importance of protecting it.

Judy Stokes 

Judy Stokes

While living in Muriwai for 10 years Judy transitioned from being a classical musician to a photographer. Muriwai was simply a place that set all her visual creative juices alive and she fell in love with expressing the moods of Muriwai through the lens of her camera.

Judy honed her craft as a photographer in a few different directions. Primarily she feels that the technique of Intentional Camera Movement

(yes simply moving your camera as you take an image) suited her impatient and free spirited character. She feels the technique simplifies scenes down to their essence and mood resulting in an evocative,artistic expression that looks more like a painting than a photograph.

Muriwai with its powerful and moody scenes also called to be captured in other ways and for many of her land and sea scapes Judy expresses her love of the ocean and wildness of the west coast in a more traditional style but still equally as evocative.

 Judy competes regularly in competitions throughout New Zealand and Internationally and won awards for her landscapes, her black and white images and her impressionistic work. She also gives workshops and loves encouraging others to lose themselves behind the camera and find the magic of creativity.

To see more of Judy’s work or enquire about a workshop contact her on 021 0488469 or visit her website

Liz Smith 

Liz Smith

I work with needle and thread to create art that reflects the world around me. Living on the cliff top at Muriwai means that I am immersed in nature – gannets and kereru fly past my studio window and I love watching tui show off with their mid-air twists and turns.

 I use found and natural materials and experiment with different fabrics to create textured works. I also love a technical stitching challenge so like to push the boundaries of what materials – whether natural or manmade - can be stitched on!

Karuna Douglas

Karuna Douglas

Award-winning ceramic artist Karuna Douglas had no artistic abilities until a brain injury in 1997 unleashed her creative talent. She’s the first to admit that she can barely ‘make’ anything but luckily she’s saved by her passion and skill for glaze chemistry and ceramic surfaces.

“My work exists in the layers just below and just above the clay. It’s only microns thick but how you fuse and flux the minerals and chemicals in the glaze can result in a multitude of responses.”

As an indigenous artist, the graphic intensity of Karuna’s work is strongly influenced by her multi-cultural upbringing. In her vibrant tilework, Indian influences within the imagery, textures and colours are clearly identifiable, all elements that strongly reference her ancestral homeland; while her stunning pounamu macro crystalline glazes evoke a unique sense of the whenua, with strong and unmistakable references to Aotearoa’s dynamic and volatile landscapes.

“I’m incredibly lucky to both live and work in the bush but so close to the ocean.  I’m surrounded by visual stimulation.  Vibrant green bush, frothing waves, endless black sands, expansive blue/green/grey ocean, towering black lava formations, and of course the amazing pink/orange/gold sunsets.  It can’t help but inform my work.”

 Key Collections

Jack C Richards Collection, Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne (Purchased)

 Alien Intruders, Wallace Arts Trust Collection, Pah Homestead, Auckland

(Collaboration with Todd Douglas, Purchased)

 The Methodist Church of New Zealand

Chalice, paten and ewers

(Collaboration with Colleen Urlich and Todd Douglas, Commissioned)

 Luciano Benetton World Art Collection, Italy

 Published Research

Chrome Responses in Low Fired Lead Glazes, Journal of Australian Ceramics, Volume 54/3, November 2015

 Infinite Shades of Green – A Glaze Story, Journal of Australian Ceramics, Volume 52/1, April 2013

Todd Douglas 

Todd Douglas

Born in 1965 of Pakeha and Nga Puhi (Ngati Manu, Te Mahurehure) descent, Todd’s work is recognised for utilising a broad range of ceramic techniques and surface treatments. Primarily self-taught Todd uses varying types of clays and firings as well as combining materials such as clay, wood, lashing and LED lighting.

Todd’s signature work, his contemporary Maori sculpture, often combines carved burnished clay with contrasting technical glazes, weaving, wood and stone.

“My work stems from a love of uku.  When I work with it, everything about it, from its tactile nature to its transformation in the kiln, grounds me. How it feels in the hands. Each stage of the making is a transformation that you nurture and guide.

You can't force uku.  You have to allow it to change and become, and through that process, you come to learn and understand more about yourself.” 

Just as I transform the clay, it transforms me.

As a proud member of Nga Kaihanga Uku (Maori Clay Artists Collective), Todd has participated in a number of international indigenous artist hui and exchanges.

 Most recently, in 2018 and 2015 Todd travelled with Nga Kaihanga Uku to Astoria, Oregon, where they were hosted by the Clatsop and Chinook people of the Pacific Northwest.    

 Todd’s work can be found in key private, iwi/tribal, corporate, and government collections throughout the world.  In particular, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Sweden, China and the United States. 

Key Collections

The Methodist Church of New Zealand (Collaboration with Colleen Urlich and Karuna Douglas, Commissioned)

 Welsh Rugby Union, Cardiff, Wales (Purchased for gift: Rugby World Cup 2011)

 Luciano Benetton World Art Collection, Italy.

 Invercargill Public Art Gallery, Southland (Purchased)

 Ngapuhi Asset Holding Company, Kerikeri (Purchased)

 Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi, Kaikohe  (Purchased)

 Ngati Kahungunu, Hawke’s Bay (Commissioned gift: Treaty Settlement)

 Alien Intruders, Wallace Arts Trust Collection, Pah Homestead, Auckland

(Collaboration with Karuna Douglas, Purchased) – On permanent display in front garden



Muriwai Beach is a wild, wonderful west coast community, located just 40 minutes from Auckland’s CBD. Known for its sweeping black sand beach, excellent surf conditions and spectacular cliff-top gannet colony, this spot is also home to a group of well-known, diverse and highly gifted artists.

This group of Muriwai artists (many award winning) has the aim as individuals and a group to inspire and nurture creativity by providing workshops, exhibitions, open studio visits and unique experiences such as art degustation. As a collective, they are all clearly inspired by the rugged coastal environment in which they live – Muriwai Beach. As individuals they also have their own unique creative processes and fascinating forms of expression.

Artists include Martin Bailey, Tanya Blong, Laetitia Decan, Lesley Dixon, Karuna Douglas, Todd Douglas, Gaylene Earl, Kathryn Enchmarch, Emma Farry, Nat van Halle, Mette Hay, Pat Henley, Joss Hong, Amanda Kemp, Laird McKechnie, Liz Smith, Kirsten Reid, Christine Rose, and include painters, potters, photographers, illustrators, sculptors, poets, mixed media, jewellery, textile and embroidery artists.

Working together they wish to provide communities greater access to the arts across a variety of media. Whether you want to buy, be inspired, learn or simply ‘step out of the ordinary’ and enjoy time out, get along to one of their exhibitions, open studio days, workshops or art experiences. Muriwai Arts Open Studios Collective is an operating arm of the North West Arts Trust. The charitable trust aims to provide better access to the arts and to nurture evolving artists in the community.