Guest Artist

Di West

Guest Artist


Guest Artist Di West was born in New Zealand and immigrated with her family to Australia at the age of 3. In mid 2016, she returned to my homeland of New Zealand and settled in the beautiful Bay of Islands, Northland.

After a career in Interior Design, she finished a Certificate in Fine Art and a Diploma in Fine Art, from the Brisbane Institute of Art. In 2002, she finished a Master’s in Fine Art Degree completed at the QUT, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Australia.

She is a painter and sculptor and for me, art is about observing. In her paintings she loves the captured moment, and she paints in oils. In sculpture her focus is always one of optimism, her work is a metaphor for challenges and things in life to aspire to............with an injection of humour and playfulness. She creates sculptures in wax and have the works cast into bronze in small editions.

She has won many awards for her paintings and sculpture and works towards Solo and Group Exhibitions each year. Her art practice is always evolving, and her work is held in major Art Galleries in New Zealand and Australia as well as many corporate and private collections.

Greg Barron

Guest Artist


We are delighted to welcome Potter and Ceramic Artist, Greg Barron as a guest artist to KOAST.

Greg  has had a career spanning more than forty years.  During this time he has found a balance between traditional handcrafted pottery production and that of a more explorative creative approach in developing his contemporary vessel forms. Always with a view toward self reliance and sustainability, Greg has sourced materials close at hand in order to produce beautiful and refined ceramics.

He attended Wellington Polytechnic Design School in 1966 and began working as a potter with Mirek Smisek at TeHoro in 1972. For a time he also worked with Yvonne Rust at her studio in Parua Bay, Northland. His career includes exhibiting in the Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award, Ceramics NZ annual exhibitions The Portage Ceramics Award and the Sydney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award, Australia. Greg has been awarded on numerous occasions and been assisted by Creative New Zealand to work internationally amongst other artists, in China, Australia and the USA. His work is held in the Australasian collection in Fuping and the Shanghai Craft Museum. Over the past fifteen years he and his wife, Jin Ling have established "Glenbervie Pottery" in rural Glenbervie near Whangarei.

Artist statement : " I am interested with aspects of the real, the handmade, a sense of place and relationship tothe natural environment. With the ideal of sustainability and using materials close at hand I dig and process clay from nearby pits, firing a wood fueled kiln".

Within the context of my work is the juxtaposition between tradition and the evolution of ceramics within fine art media".

An interview with Greg Barron

Judy Woods

Guest Artist


Guest artist Judy Woods graduated from Otago Polytechnic School of Fine Arts in 1985.  She  went to Teachers College and taught Art in secondary schools for 15 years.  While she  loved this job she always wanted to do my own work.  Often in the classroom she would have to quiet a growing urge to clear the room of students and just do the work myself!!  During this time she would paint in the holidays, but just for herself and family and occasionally she entered into a few group shows.

In 2004 she left teaching to have children devoting her baby’s afternoon sleep time to painting.  She used oils and painted realistic depictions of domesticity in an unreal space.  She started to sell her  work during this time in galleries both locally and around the country.  However, when the second child came along the painting stopped.  She took the oils out again and began her foray into abstract art when her youngest went to kindergarten in 2009.  This was relatively short-lived though as she soon found myself back teaching part-time with two children at school and no time for painting.

In 2016 my father died which brought me sharply eye to eye with the brevity of life and so I threw myself wholeheartedly into my painting again.  By this time I had given up teaching.  Over the past two years I have been exploring painting intuitively using mixed media and working on wood panels.  I currently sell my work in local galleries and online internationally.

Pete Cernis

Guest Artist


Welcome to Guest Artist Pete Cernis whose work is a response to the beauty he finds in the natural world. He composes with light, line and form aware of the balance required between technical necessity and unencumbered self expression.

He says ‘There are harmonies in the natural world which resonate on the same frequencies residing in our humanness. As our natural awareness develops the more we harmonise and the stronger those connections become. It is these harmonies that I  try and describe in my work whether it be through landscape, portraiture or other forms of self expression……. I am attempting to transfer what is felt onto an external surface so that it becomes seen.  The concept is straight forward,  achieving it is the tricky bit -  a never ending  journey of refinement and learning’.

Pete’s formal training was  at the Florence Academy, London Atelier of Representational Art and Camberwell where he obtained  his Master Degree in Drawing.

He also holds Master degrees in Science and Business and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art.

When time allows, he runs workshops and courses in the fundamentals of drawing.

His work is held in both corporate and private collections and his home and studio are in Russell Bay of Islands.