This exhibition features the paintings of Awakino resident Dennis Walton and Peter Holbrook of Pio Pio.
Dennis has been painting all of his adult life. A resident of Awakino, Dennis takes his artistic inspiration from just about anything – TV, a magazine image, houses, sunsets, animals, portraits and especially nature which surrounds him in his rustic cottage nestled amongst the trees, metres from the Awakino River.
When asked about his favourite subject, Dennis says his next challenge is always his favourite. He claims he easily becomes bored, so each new subject becomes a challenge and once mastered, he moves on.
Dennis has painted extensively throughout the entire Tainui region which falls loosely between the four tunnels at Mt Messenger, Okau, Awakino and Waikawau – although he has ventured deeper into the King Country to produce some beautiful pieces of work.
Although Peter painted as a child at school and on the farm in England, it was not until his migration to New Zealand in 1963 that he recalled his talent for painting. Even then, life in Aria was busy, so the move to Pio Pio in 1993 signalled the true start to Peter’s painting.
Peter’s preference for nature is immediately evident. He has a passion for pioneering scenes such as bullock teams and horses. He loves landscapes and in particular, hunting scenes involving deer and dogs. He even tries his hand at the odd abstract or portrait.
Peter’s favourite piece was a painting done years ago of the renowned Awakino Beach races, world famous in Mokau.