Make a big difference to The Big Idea.

Help us tell the most creative stories.

Become a supporter

House Visits: Coastal Creativity

Our feature series delving into the homes of the country's creatives takes into the Hawke's Bay, with some familiar NZ artists.


The days of visiting galleries and exhibitions are temporarily on hold. The lost opportunity to get motivation from walking through new spaces and soaking in different works is a void The Big Idea wants to help fill. 

Our ‘House Visits’ series takes you into the homes and working spaces of people in the creative world, to see what they have collected on their travels, what it means to them and what they’re using as inspiration inside their own four walls.

Roger King - Hawke’s Bay

I learnt to write ‘retired’ in the Occupation slot, a couple of years ago……….it was quite a difficult acknowledgement! Liffy (Roberts, Roger’s wife) and I programmed and ran arts festivals for more than 20 years (Taranaki, Taupō, Tauranga) and then we were able to move the mighty WOMAD from Auckland to New Plymouth.   

My creative impulses are now focussed into trying to create an interesting garden beside the sea in Hawke’s Bay. Nothing like a challenge. 

In terms of staying in touch with the arts, I am on the board of the Arts Council, which is a great privilege. I also chair a Trust here on the Cape Coast which is telling histories and stories of ‘this place’ and installing them on the Trail alongside large-scale sculpture.   So the lockdown is not really affecting me, other than as an irritant. But through my friends in the arts and my work with the Arts Council, I am acutely aware of the significance for the arts community of what is playing out right now.

The Tour Begins

This Kirsten Carlin painting is in our bedroom along with the mirror.  The latter came from the old family home of Brooklands in New Plymouth.  Built by my grandfather, Newton, it was part of a great park garden that he created in the early part of the 20th century.  It is still a wonderful garden which has morphed into what is now known as the TSB Bowl.   I enjoy the combo of this with Kirsten’s wonderful flowers.

The great potter Richard Parker is someone Liffy and I have known for as long as we’ve known each other.  Called Signal Dishes, it’s one of those works which ‘sing’ in a room.  Alongside that is a photograph of Peter McLeavey, by one of my teachers, John B Turner.  I was lucky enough, when young, to do the journalism course at Wellington Polytechnic, but in my heart, I wanted to be a photographer.  

John was working at the (then) Dominion Museum which was just across the road from my day classes.  He totally opened my eyes to what great photography is all about, and this photo of Peter McLeavey, for me, is one of those crackers.

While I was at journalism school I was lucky enough to interview Gordon Walters. This superb image is a constant reminder of that day.  And we couldn’t resist Wicked, which was painted by an old friend.

Roger King.

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

7 Apr 2020

The Big Idea Editor