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Artist Looks To Pukekura Park To Impress And Inspire Work

Artist Amanda Watson is banking on NPDC’s Pukekura Park leaving an impression on her work when the park becomes her studio over the next few months.

The Raglan-based artist will be wrapping trees, vines, and other plants with canvas to capture an impression of the surface for a new series of paintings she is creating which sees her working in environments to influence how they turn out.

“The good thing about this process is I never really know how it’s going to look until I’m working on it. The place, the surfaces – it’s quite an interactive process and I’m excited to see how the work will turn out,” says Amanda.

“My aim is to get to understand Pukekura Park in a deeper way through painting.”

The park was part of Amanda’s life while she grew up in New Plymouth. She’s now based in Whaingaroa /Raglan, having completed a degree at Elam School of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in painting, and she exhibits in galleries around the country and overseas.

Her process is to take a large piece of canvas into a landscape and wrap surfaces with it, then apply ink and pigments to pick up the landscape textures. The water-soluable ink and materials are safe to use in the natural environment.

NPDC Acting Manager Parks and Open Spaces Conrad Pattison says it’s great to work alongside artists who are inspired by the district’s parks and reserves.

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“Our staff put a lot of hours into keeping our parks and reserves areas looking good and to see that reflected back through art is remarkable,” he says.

“We’re happy to hear from any artists who want to work in our green spaces so that we can ensure that the environment is kept in good condition throughout.”

Amanda is at Pukekura park this week and for a week each month until March next year. Her artwork can be seen online at

Fast facts:

  • Pukekura Park first opened to the public in 1876, when it was known as The Recreation Grounds.
  • It has been awarded the Green Flag, an international standard of quality, for the last nine years in a row.
  • NPDC looks after 1,600ha of park and reserve land, 82km of walkways, 24 sportsgrounds, 68ha of coastal dunes and 16ha of gardens.

Caption: Artist Amanda Watson likes to start with preliminary drawings of the trees that she will wrap with canvas for her work.

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