Creative Patapatai

Welcome to an ongoing project that celebrates Bay of Plenty artists, performers, producers, story-tellers, cultural leaders—and profiles the undeniably creative people around us…

Creative Bay of Plenty have established this new interview series to help you get to know some fascinating local painters, film-makers, dancers, photographers, poets, writers, musicians, and the friends and neighbours listed in our Creative Directory. Learn how they express our world, document and define who we are, celebrate sense of place, and build a diverse creative community in the Bay of Plenty.

Photos: Kendra Eden Photography

Are you an artist, performer, or producer in the Bay of Plenty? Want your own listing in our Creative Directory? Click below to begin your profile!

Carol Garden

First-time novelist Carol Garden urges other aspiring writers not to wait – just start writing. After winning a publishing contract with Scholastic, Carol’s book for young teens will be released next year. We had a chat to Carol about her inspiration, her writing process, and her characters, which include a billionaire baddie and a girl who can talk to fish.

Lynette Fisher

Artist Lynette Fisher is obsessed with nostalgia and memory. We chatted about the imaginary worlds of children, staying home during lockdown, and Lemmy the budgie. Keep reading to learn about Lynette’s upcoming exhibition at The Incubator, too!

Jasmine Kroeze

Jasmine Kroeze, designer, muralist and boss lady at creative design studio Pinch & Punch, has some exciting things in the pipeline for 2021. Find out about her first collection of original work in this interview and get in touch if you have a wall that needs to be brought to life!

Sandi Cutts

Sandi Cutts’ incredible transformations render her near-unrecognisable, yet her sense of self is undeniable. A self-confessed daydreamer, Sandi has surrounded herself with the arts, from special effects to dancing to music. Read on to get to know Sandi a little more…

Jacki Barklie

Jacki Barklie has been described as “too ambitious”. We think she’s just the right amount. With an exciting art fair on the way at her collaborative space Back Studio, Jacki is bringing the arts community together. We know you’ll love getting to know her a little better.

Grant Hislop

Bona fide music buff Grant Hislop wants to start a veggie garden and buy a hot air balloon. Count how many times Eggs Benedict is mentioned in this interview, and enjoy getting to know the CEO of Mood Media and Juice TV a little better.

Heidi Douglas

Working as a Toi Ohomai tutor, photographer and graphic designer doesn’t prevent Heidi Douglas from taking time for herself and her creative thoughts. Read about Heidi’s definition of happiness, how she stays grounded, and the summer meal she’d eat every day…

Coni Flores

Coni Flores loves Whakarewarewa Forest and believes happiness is a state of mind. Discover more about this dynamic local photographer below…

Alex McLeod

Before Alex McLeod was an artist, his jobs included rubbish dump man (a childhood dream), and Shakespearian stage actor. Read on to find out more about Alex, and his wishes for an art supplies store here in Tauranga…

Jolene James

Get to know Jolene James, local media personality and a bit of a creative legend. We sat down with our favourite Tauranga radio host to learn about Peter and the Wolf, her ongoing obsession with Kiwi band The Mockers, a first job as a school receptionist, and why you might find her on the Daisy Hardwick walkway.

Lee Murray

Writer Lee Murray chats to CBOP about the view from the Minden Lookout, the invaluable impact of creativity during lockdown, and her advice for an aspiring creative person… (Hint: just start).

Julie Paama-Pengelly

What motivates Julie Paama-Pengelly to be an artist? The prosperity and development of a healthy future for Māori people. Read on to discover Julie’s favourite place in the Bay, her most admired figures from history, and why, as a creative, you should question everything.

Jess Lowcher

Jess Lowcher wears many creative hats, working not only as a photographer, but running two other businesses (you’ve got to try her ice cream sandwiches…) Get to know Jess below.

Ellie Smith

Emerging curator and art historian, and Tauranga Art Gallery regular, Ellie Smith dives into the details of a typical day working with the visual arts, and why (in the time of Covid) she’s no longer planning anything with certainty…

Kendra Stone

Meet Creative Bay of Plenty intern and local visual communicator, Kendra Stone. She’s shooting all the images for our Creative Patapatai project, and helping us tell dozens of creative stories. We spent time with Kendra and learned about Te Puna Quarry, her head-banging days, and why Brazil is on her mind.

Louis Bolton

Film-maker and visual story-teller Louis Bolton migrated to Tauranga a few years ago. We sat down with him to talk Nelson Mandela, Queen and Pearl Jam, and barbecue. You can learn more about Louis by visiting his profile on our Creative Directory.