If it's been a while since you popped into the store, you may not have met our lovely store manager, Lisa Caughey. She's been instrumental in the recent changes and refurbishment that has breathed new life into the shop.
This is Lisa's story, in her own words...
Dreams do come true. Just sometimes not quite the way you imagined them.
For years I have wanted to do a roadie from Kaitaia to the Bluff. A slow drive roadie. No passing lanes, no google maps. I dreamed of stopping whenever I wanted to buy plums from roadside stalls, linger at artisan workshops, meet the people out there living their creative dreams and eventually heading back to the big smoke with a combi full of craft, art and memories.
As a single mum with two kids, how I was going to do a roadie wasn’t all that obvious. I am welded to school zones, timetables and the daily grind of bringing home the bacon. I have no sense of direction and can’t even find Brazil on the world map.
In 2016 I became the most recent Head Elephant at Parnell’s venerable Elephant House store. The Elephant House doesn’t actually have anything to do with elephants. For over 35 years it has championed, promoted and sold art, craft and wares made in NZ. The artisans and crafters that sell through the Elephant House come from Kerikeri to Invercargill!
Clearly I was on my roadie. For the last year I have lived, breathed and dreamed NZ art and craft. The Elephant House sells on behalf of the artisans and being in the store has brought NZ to me.
Last year we gutted, stripped, scrubbed and refitted the Elephant House, giving her a much needed upgrade to reflect the changing quality and improvement of Made in NZ. Opening Two Tusk Gallery in our loft space at the Elephant House to champion emerging NZ artists was a logical addition to our elephant sized desire to showcase the best of our country and support our creative talent.
Our doors are always* open for casual browse or a friendly chat.
*Not literally always, we have opening hours which you can check out here.
Our newest artistic space, Two Tusk Gallery, had a successful opening for the Pieces of Wood exhibition this past Saturday.
This beautiful and spiritually moving exhibition brings together a group of eight emerging New Zealand artists whose work with wood is aimed at challenging your heart, mind and soul. These mystical explorations in wood include sculptures, paintings and traditional Maori carvings.
The gathered crowd were treated to a heartfelt and humbling karakia (blessing) by contributing artist Warren Castle, followed by two more friendly hello's by sculptor Geoff Irving and painter Mark Graham,
Thank you to those who were part of this special day and we invite you all to come along with an open mind, and perhaps have your perspective on art changed forever.
Pieces of Wood is open to the public for seven days, up to and including 30 July.
Look into the history of New Zealand and you’ll find an intrinsic relationship with wood. From the ancient Maori through to today’s creative talents, working with wood takes more than just artistry; you must work with the knots and grain, and tease the timber into revealing itself to you.
Two Tusk Gallery, our newest artistic space, is proud to present Pieces of Wood; a group exhibition of emerging New Zealand artists whose work with wood is aimed at challenging your heart, mind and soul. These mystical explorations in wood include sculptures, paintings and traditional Maori carvings.
Pieces of Wood is open to the public from Saturday the 10th of June to the 30th of July, with an intimate exhibition opening on the Saturday afternoon from 3pm ~ all are welcome. Come with an open mind and perhaps your perspective on art will be forever changed.
Two Tusk Gallery is dedicated to promoting local artists and their work. It is our vision to become THE place in Auckland for people to purchase original New Zealand art for under $1000.
Mystical stories in wood, Eternal in the Past, Eternal in the future!
Geoff Irving is a woodwork teacher in Ngaruawahia. He lives and crafts his work in Hamilton and relaxes in Raglan.
He completed a three year Woodturning Trade course at the Ultimo T.A.F.E. in 1984 and a degree in Design at the U.T.S. Upon his return to Aotearoa, Geoff was strongly influenced by the wairua/spirit of Maori Art and Whakairo /wood carving.
When creating his sculptural pieces, Geoff likes to interweave this influence with the mystical writings of the 19th Century Persian Prophet Baha’u’llah, “The ancient Faith of the Maori was carved in wood and stone and will continue to shape the identity of all those fortunate to call these wonderful Islands home.”
The pulse of this ancient Faith is renewed from age to age.
We are delighted to announce the grand opening of our newest exhibition space, Two Tusk Gallery! Our vision or the space is to be THE place in Auckland where you can buy original NZ artwork for under $1000.
To open Two Tusk Gallery, we will be showcasing the artwork of Northland artist, Christina Maassen, in her exhibition The Earth Laughs In Flowers. With her strong botanical background, Christina beautifully paints flowers and landscapes to celebrate the joy she finds in nature.
Did You Know...
We've got more than just amazing products to share with you, we've got the stories about what goes on behind-the-scenes of what you're buying too