African flavour to art expo 

Peter Korkie has paintings on display at Te Awamutu Library until May 10.

A South African-born dairy farmer who has called Te Awamutu home for almost 30 years is exhibiting his paintings at Te Awamutu Library until May 10.

For Peter Korkie bringing his art to a public audience is relatively new for the hobby artist.   Although he has painted intermittently through the years, it is only recently that he has been able to spend more time on it.  He has also joined the Rosebank Art Centre, and while he prefers painting alone, he enjoys engaging with other artists.

Peter’s paintings speak to his love of landscapes.  There are sweeping South African scenes and wildlife, and paintings of local landscapes.

His love for the land is matched only by a strong determination that saw his younger self battle tuberculosis in the hip along with a level of scepticism that he would never be able to fulfil his dream to farm.  He trounced both, got a degree in animal husbandry and ended up dairy farming at Tsitsikamma, near South Africa’s Port Elizabeth.  When his farm was expropriated, he looked elsewhere, and after touring New Zealand’s North Island, decided to settle in Te Awamutu.  He is now retired and enjoying a leisurely return to art.

The exhibition in the library is the third in conjunction with the Rosebank Art Centre, the first two involving artists Charles Stewart and Margaret Dixon.  The collaborative venture is a win-win for the community.

Te Awamutu library supervisor Sheree Gross said each exhibition lasts about three weeks, filling a usually unoccupied area by the window.   “I was thinking of something new we could do as we try to get back to normal.  This has been a great success and we’d like to keep the exhibitions going.”

Rosebank Art Centre’s Linda Bannister said the exhibitions provided the artists with a wonderful opportunity to showcase their work.


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