CARRY ON: Artist David Poole has been busy doing work for an exhibition at Orewa in Auckland, that looks likely to be postponed to a later date because of Covid-19. Photo Troy Baker D9809-21

EASTERN Bay artists haven’t been sitting on their hands during the lockdown.

As David Poole says, “in one sense it has been a blessing in disguise”.

Poole is a well-known face in art circles and as president of Arts Opotiki and Arts Whakatane a lot of his time is spent organising events and exhibitions.

The Summer Arts Festival and the Molly Morpeth Art Awards are among the major events on Arts Whakatane’s calendar.

“It has been great,” he said of the lockdown.

“I haven’t been distracted by all the other stuff that goes on.”

Instead, he has been busy in his Ohope studio.

“I have been making use of this time, getting ready for when things get back to normal.”

And he is encouraging other artists to do something creative during this period.

Covid-19 had brought a halt to some planned events, he said.

“We did have an exhibition planned for Opotiki, called Colours, over Easter, but have had to put that on hold.”

The week-long exhibition would have showcased Eastern Bay artists’ work.

But he says to all those artists who couldn’t go to the exhibition, “get into gear and prepare because Opotiki Arts will do the Colours exhibition at some point … it was supposed to be one weekend to another weekend, that is what we planned but maybe, given the circumstances, we might do one weekend and then open again the following weekend”.

BACK TO COLOUR: Stella Maris and Girls Day Out, far left, by David Poole. D9809-07

Another big event that Poole has been working towards but looks to be postponed is an exhibition at The Estuary Gallery in Orewa, north of Auckland, called Shades of Whites.

“It has been planned for six months and there were 25 people involved in a collective.”

That show was supposed to take place in June, and Poole, like all the other artists, has been busy producing work for this. One of the artists is only nine, Flynn Dominick, and he has a couple of pieces focusing on his favourite subject matter – cats.

“I have been talking with the gallery and they are unsure, so we may postpone it for a bit, but we may not even be allowed to go up to Auckland by that time and may be stuck here in the Bay of Plenty.

“We have been looking at once we get back to some sort of normal, we might do a separate showing of Shades of Whites at The Hub gallery.”

Poole has other work on the go and has just completed a commissioned piece that will go to Scotland as a wedding gift.

“The other part has been exploring what I have already got. Normally you would plan [an artwork] and go and get what you need. I have had to use the materials that I have got.”

An interesting piece he has done is one that gives a nod to the White Island eruption that took place on December 9 and left 21 people dead, titled Shades of Whakaari White Island.

SHOW PIECES: Shades of Whakaari White Island, Mixed Media, is another work by David Poole that gives a nod to the December eruption that killed 21 people. On the table is his other works, Kiwis on Top of the World and Kiwis. D9809-12