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Our Cover Artist

Ginney Deavoll

“Stony Bay is an incredibly picturesque bay that not

too many people venture to. It holds a special place in

my memory as it was from here that Tyrell and I left to

attempt our first open water crossing by kayak. We

paddled from Stony Bay to Tryphena Harbour on Great

Barrier Island but not without incident.

“Half way across Tyrell noticed a plume of water in the

distance. It was gone before I caught a glimpse so I didn’t think much of it. That

was, not until it appeared again, right between our kayaks, erupting from the

back of a Bryde’s Whale.”

- Ginney Deavoll

I met Ginney and partner Tyrell during the Mercury Bay Art Escape and was impressed

with both her and her work. When I looked around their small flat I asked where she

painted. “On the floor”, she answered. Wow – she really does.

Ginney has lived a lot in her

short life which is reflected in the

essence of life she portays in

her art. When we discovered the

painting of Stony Bay and heard

the story behind it, we knew it

was perfect – reflecting her bold

originality as well as the locale of

our Road Trip in this issue.

The trip she shares above is one

of many. Ginney and Tyrell also

did an extensive kayak, hiking and

biking trip on South Island, which Ginney relates through photos, art and writing in a

coffee table art book “the long way” (see next page).

“Since deciding to seriously follow a life of painting I have had incredible support

from the Coromandel arts community,” shares a grateful Ginney. Her originals and

a range of prints are in Bread and Butter Gallery in Whitianga and a selection of

prints in Moko or Hot Waves Caf


. See her at the Mercury Bay Art Escape tour, at and on her Facebook page.

Milly’s on Main


236 Main Road in Tairua



522 Pollen Street in Thames WWW.COROMANDELLIFE.CO.NZ



aving an awareness of the natural

world has always been important to

me. As a teenager I would stand at the

beach admiring the changeability of the

colours, the shapes in the waves and

clouds and the feeling of depth as I gazed

out at the horizon. I spent much of my

teenage years trying to capture this in

watercolours, later in murals around the

city and acrylics on canvas.

It’s only recently that I’ve found my

Turangawaewae, my place to stand. The

place that gives me more energy than I

put in. Looking back, it’s blaringly obvious

that this is where my journey would lead

me. From an early age I knew that I would

be an artist. I also knew that I felt at home

in the outdoors and that the thought of

adventure made me shiver with excitement

and anticipation.

And so after school, my world was filled

with adventure and travel. I spent years

overseas exploring the world, working

in strange jobs in obscure locations. My

painting took a back seat, but was never

forgotten. I found that nowhere – not even

Rome, the French Alps or the Whitsundays

– inspired me to paint in the way that New

Zealand does.

Seeing something of the world has given

me a greater understanding of how lucky

we are to be of this land. Once I returned

to NZ, I moved to Hahei to work as a

sea kayak guide. Here, I picked up a

paintbrush again and began a journey that

would realise my dream.

At first, I mostly painted landscape from

life but soon started to illustrate the stories

of the area through my artwork. The

design element in these paintings caused

my artwork to take on a different look. This

style was developing well but took a huge

leap forward after an incredible trip with

my partner Tyrell: sea kayak journey up

the coast of the Coromandel, out to Great

Barrier Island, then up the East Coast of

Northland to Houhora.

The duration of the journey was five

weeks, and by the end I was brimming

with inspiration.

My intention was to share the places we’d

seen, like Stony Bay. Places that take your

breath away – to capture the moments

that were funny, scary or beautiful –

memorable moments that shaped our

experience. I wanted to pass on the

feeling of elation from seeing a whale

cruise by under my kayak and the pleasure

of watching every sunrise and sunset and

admiring the Milky Way each night. Most

of all I wanted to share the simplicity of

enjoying life one day at a time, feeling

completely content.

This series about our adventure was

my first exhibition and a total success

but more importantly I had found my

Turangawaewae and what it was that

I wanted to do with my painting. I had

discovered how to combine my passion

for painting with my journeys in the

outdoors and make them my world.

Since then I’ve been on more journeys

into the wild and extreme places of New

Zealand and the need to share those

experiences through my artwork is

stronger than ever. - Ginney Deavoll