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Original napkin art goes under the hammer

Media Release
October 20, 2008
For Immediate Release

Original napkin art from the Robert Harris Inspiration Collection goes under the hammer

New Zealanders have a once in a life time opportunity to bid for original works of art created on the humble paper napkin by well renowned and up and coming Kiwi artists including Martin Poppelwell, Dean Tercel, Hayley King, Toni McKinnon and Mary-Louise Browne.

Twenty-eight pieces of original art will be auctioned on November 1, at Art + Object in Newton, Auckland with the proceeds going to the Robert Harris Inspiration Scholarship.

Ten Kiwi artists were commissioned by Robert Harris to transform the humble paper napkin into pieces of art as part of an inspirational project that took artwork to the streets of Auckland and Wellington to inspire passers-by on their coffee break and daily commute.

Each artist had a completely unique take on working with napkins; the results ranging from beautiful and delicate 3-D butterflies from Origami artist, Jonathan Baxter to the stunning translucent stenciling of Kiwi flora and fauna by Hayley King.

Robert Harris Group Brand Manager, Justine Powell says, “The public response to the art-work has been amazing so far and we are confident that many people will want to own one of these unique works of art. The popularity of the works was shown when someone went as far as stealing one of the Hayley King pieces from the public display in Wellington. Fortunately it was later recovered by police and will be included in the auction.”

She adds, “We’re excited about the auction, as it is the final chapter in this particular inspirational project. The proceeds from sales of the artwork will go to the Robert Harris Inspiration scholarship. This is a new initiative set up to support aspiring new artists and part of Robert Harris’ ongoing commitment to help provide inspiration to New Zealanders.”

Art + Object, Managing Director, Hamish Coney says “There are some amazing works of art in this exhibition and art lovers will be able to bid for one-of-a-kind Poppelwell and Browne pieces to add to their collection. There is a wide range of artwork in terms of style, so there will be something to suit every taste and the large scale of the pieces makes the event more unique.”

The auction will be held on Saturday November 1st at Art + Object in Newton, Auckland with a viewing session from 11am – 3pm and the live auction at 4pm.




Notes to editors:

Featured artists include: Martin Poppelwell, Dean Tercel, Kristy Gorman, Gavin Hurley, Esther Leigh, Jonathan Baxter, Toni McKinnon, Hayley King, Mary-Louise Browne and Josh Paki.

The Robert Harris Inspiration Collection will be held at Art and Object, 3 Abbey Street, Newton

Viewing is from 11am – 3pm on Saturday November 1st.

The auction will start at 4pm and finish at 5pm on Saturday November 1st.

• For further information about the gallery exhibition and the artists involved log onto

• Robert Harris transformed part of Auckland’s Queen Street and Wellington’s railway station into a street-level, outdoor gallery for a month-long exhibition in each city. It was free, open 24-7 and designed to bring some inspirational works of art into the heart of the city. The collection was created to amaze, entertain, cheer and inspire passers-by. Robert Harris wanted to offer the public the opportunity to enjoy some inspirational artwork during their coffee break, daily commute, or on the weekends.

• As part of their mission to make every break inspirational, Robert Harris toured the length and breadth of the country earlier this year to find out what inspires New Zealanders. Over a five week period, a mobile message booth traveled to 41 Robert Harris Café's from Timaru to Whangarei to give local Kiwis the opportunity to tell us about the source of their inspiration. People wrote down their personal inspiration on a Robert Harris napkin and were filmed for inclusion in a 3-minute mini-film, which previewed on TV One on July 27th.

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