There was a hugely positive response to the 2018 week, with feedback such as: “Made me feel like I could achieve everything without pressure”, and “The tutor was so open and generous with her knowledge – I just loved the whole thing!”

Courses included flax weaving with Kahutoi te Kanawa, making a Windsor chair with Richard Hare, watercolour painting with Jacky Pearson, digital photography with David Wethey, painting and drawing with Mandy Thomsett-Taylor, creating a children’s picture book with Gavin Bishop, and eco-dyeing and felting with Marion van Oeveren. Short courses included cast glass and decorative sandblasting with Liz Sharek, sculpture with Louise McRae and textile art with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden.

Each year there’s an extra element to Creative Matakana – 2017 featured exceptional food with renowned chefs, and 2018 brought us four brilliant garden designers. Lynda Hallinan presented on Homegrown Harvests, Craig Thorburn showed us how Fabulous Foraging could beautify your home, Dr Nick Waipara and Philip Smith talked us through Natural Landscapes and Andy Hamilton instructed us on Planting by Design with perennials.

We had two busloads of happy punters on Creative Matakana guided tours at Gibbs Farm sculpture park on the Kaipara coast, and some brilliant extra events. These included our usual welcome drinks at the Vivian Galler.y, a truly epic participant’s dinner at the Sawmill Brewery, open artists studios in the area, and a finale event at the Vivian with two brilliant arts authors (art critic Anthony Byrt and poet Therese Lloyd) in conversation with gallery director, Scott Lawrie, where you could have heard a pin drop.

A wonderful, enlightening and invigorating week! Please feel free to browse our 2018 photo gallery for pictorial evidence!