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Lockdown bird experiences captured beautifully in Tasman art

New Zealand’s shared lockdown bird experiences captured beautifully in Tasman artist collaboration

Tasman artists John Jepson of Kanuka Glen Art, and Bec Brown of Clouds of Colour have combined their artistic talents to mark a point in New Zealand’s collective social history by creating a unique reflection and celebration of New Zealand’s native flora and fauna inspired by shared native bird tales from lockdown.


This beautiful collaboration was the brainchild of Bec Brown who runs her popular art business Clouds of Colour from Golden Bay. ‘Everyone was enjoying the birds. I’d be getting messages from friends saying they’d never seen so many kingfishers so close to home before, and it seemed like everyone was getting home visits from a friendly fantail or two. I had been so inspired by all of the birdlife that me and my two year old son Artie had been enjoying during lockdown, and then I remembered my bird artist friend John and decided we need to create something truly special together’. John, who is also parent to a two year old runs his art business Kanuka Glen Art from Tasman. ‘The idea really appealed to me. I’ve always been a huge bird fan, but lockdown created a special environment where my daughter Kate and I had all the time in the world to identify the different birds coming in to our garden, and it seemed like it was a very similar story for lots of Kiwis. Bec’s idea enabled us to use our art to mark a point in New Zealand’s shared social history where we all had the time to really look around us and enjoy nature.’

Inspired by wild flowers, floral wallpapers, embroidery books & repeated patterns found in nature; Brown’s colourful watercolour floral arrangements are a stark contrast to Jepson’s detailed bird studies often drawn on to recycled native timber with coloured pencils. However, the two contrasting styles when brought together create a completely unique style that looks like it was always meant to be. The harmony created between the elegant native floral arrangements and the strong charcoal characters is stunning.


‘It’s art for all Kiwis. It’s art to pinpoint a moment in time when we all had to stop and make the most of our immediate surroundings and in doing so realise how lucky we were to live somewhere so beautiful’ says Jepson. ‘I like to think that our shared experiences of nature during lockdown will have created a new found appreciation for the beauty that’s all around us if we take a moment to stop and look.’

‘I like to imagine our collaboration being something very meaningful for families across New Zealand. A little reminder of that time we were all in the same boat focussing on being kind to everyone and enjoying our birdlife.’ says Brown.

Both artists are very active on social media regularly sharing updates of their individual and collaborative works. The collaboration can be viewed easily on Jepson’s website

Kanuka Glen Art by John Jepson - Authentic New Zealand bird art displayed on recycled timber.

Clouds of Colour - Designing & creating original watercolour artworks, art prints, stationery, wedding stationery, dabbling in fabric designs.

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