top of page

I'd just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who visited the Taranaki National Art Awards recently and felt a connection with my painting. I was so thrilled to be informed that 'Reflections on a Grey Room' has also been awarded the People's Choice Award.

It is such an important piece in my own personal narrative that it was very touching to have others interested in it as well.

Thank you again to the wonderful volunteers who put in their time and effort to make this exhibition happen, to the sponsors of the painting & People's Choice prizes; the TSB Community Trust & Jane's Gallery, judges Dr Carole Shepheard & Reuben Friend & everyone who came to view the work and support the thriving arts community in this beautiful part of New Zealand.

A handful of Taranaki artists have been recognised in a national arts award event.

The 16th anniversary of the Taranaki National Art Awards attracted a record breaking 330 entries from throughout New Zealand across seven categories - painting, rural Taranaki, 3D, works on paper, fibre art, Toi Tu Taranaki, and Photography.

Of these, seven artists from New Plymouth, Ōkato and Urenui took out the top spot and highly commended awards in five categories.

Marama Ratahi/Supplied

Fern Petrie won the painting award for her artwork "Reflections on a Grey A Room".

Reyna Henderson, of New Plymouth, and Howard Tuffrey, of Urenui, were recognised for their talents in capturing rural Taranaki.

Marama Ratahi/Supplied

Painter Fern Petrie, judge Dr Carol Shepheard, painter Jacqueline Elley, and 3D artist Sam Kelly.

And Ōkato artist Jenny Pullar attracted a win for her fibre art, while fellow Ōkato artist Mark Hudson earned a committee choice for his sculpture.

The Awards Exhibition will be on display from 10am to 4pm daily from until November 4 at the Sandford Events Centre in Ōpunake.

The Awards' success inspired the inaugural Arts Fest South Taranaki event, which welcomes people to wander 17 different exhibitions around coastal towns including Waverley, Manaia and Pātea from October 27 to November 5.

Michaela Stoneman, South Taranaki District Council arts coordinator said securing the affair was a real achievement for a small voluntary committee.

"The event is a great example of a small town doing it for themselves," she said.

List of award winners by category: Painting: Fern Petrie (New Plymouth) "Reflections on a Grey A Room", Highly Commended: Jacqueline Elley (New Plymouth) "Suffusion #11"; Rural Taranaki: Howard Tuffrey (Urenui) "Local Landform", Highly Commended: Reyna Henderson (New Plymouth) "Objection"; 3D: Jo Giddens (Whanganui) "Quarter Acre Dream", Highly Commended: Sam Kelly (New Plymouth) "Brooch I"; Works on Paper: Sam Dollimore (Porirua) "Misdirection, or Why Not Poke the Baby Man Baby, Man", Highly Commended: Margaret Silverwood (Whanganui) "Hover"; Fibre Art: Mark Rayner (Whanganui) "Paula", Highly Commended: Jenny Pullar (Ōkato) "Strange Things"; Toi Tu Taranaki: Timoti Pekamu (Taihape) "Spotlight Fleece", Highly Commended: Paula McNeill (Tairua) "The Farmer and His Sheep"; Photography: Judy Stokes (Auckland) "Storm out at Sea", Highly Commended: Nicky Gerard (Whanganui) "Sling/Slung"; Committee Choice: Mark Hudson (Ōkato) "Pipeline"

- Stuff

I am so happy to announce that my painting 'Reflections on a Grey Room' was chosen last night by judges Dr Carole Shepheard & Reuben Friend for the TSB Community Trust Painting Award at the 2017 Taranaki National Art Awards.

This painting is the largest and most personal work I have yet executed and I am so thrilled to have been awarded this prize in a place which has nurtured and given a home to so many creative talents.

To see the complete work and read about some of the symbolism behind the image please go to Featured Artwork.

The full image will be available in an edition of 38 limited edition archival prints.

Price and size to be determined over the next few days.

To register your interest please email

Image Copyright Fern Petrie 2017

'Reflections on a Grey Room' Oil on Canvas, 2017. (Detail)

Image Copyright Fern Petrie 2017

'Reflections on a Grey Room' Oil on Canvas, 2017. (Detail)

bottom of page