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Atawera Art

about us.


our studio.

Atawera Art first opened in the small town of Kaikoura in September 2001.

Atawera was the name given to a family ancestor, Thomas Ashwell who arrived in NZ in the 1820s.
In Maori ata means morning and wera means heat. We have used our interpretation of these translations in the design of our logo. “The morning heat rising and shining above us and our art”.
Atawera Art is situated between the mountains and the sea and we believe the beautiful scenery of Kaikoura adds to the positive emotional experience our visitors enjoy.

In our studio we are using wood, bone, stone, paints, pastels, skin and ink.
Each medium is used in either a traditional or contemporary style to craft individual and unique pieces of art.
Atawera Art is not an ordinary shop, we hope to give each customer an enjoyable art experience.


meet greg ashwell.

Greg was always a creative and artistic child and after finishing school, completed his jewellery apprenticeship in 1992. He was introduced to the art form of tattooing in 1991. Greg set about perfecting his jewellery and tattooing skills over the next nine years. In 2001 Greg moved with his family to Kaikōura to form Atawera Art. Much of Greg’s art is inspired by his Maori heritage from both his mother and fathers families and his art reflects the knowledge he has gained from understanding his own Maori connections.
Greg also has an interest in wood and bone carving and enjoys painting and drawing but Greg’s main passion is the art of tattoo. He enjoys working with a client to achieve a new and unique piece of skin art. Greg often finds himself drawing from the patterns and motifs from Maori art to reflect and represent the personal stories of his clients and in doing so has crafted his own indigenous tattoo style.
Greg has travelled overseas to exhibit his tattoo art at conventions and tattoo studios in the U.K., The Netherlands, Germany and Sweden. He is also using motifs and symbols from the architecture and history of these countries in designing artwork that can give a client identification and ownership of their own culture and heritage. Greg is always looking to develop and explore his own artistic abilities and style.


meet mary ashwell.

Mary grew up with a love of home crafts and developed an interest in art at school.
Whilst at school she began to explore the technique of painting with acrylics and oils. Over the years Mary dabbled in the arts, mostly for her own pleasure but also completing commissioned murals and paintings.
Learning bone carving and jewellery techniques from Greg, Mary has since been able to explore the techniques of making art that is 3 dimensional. Since moving to Kaikōura with her family Mary has been able to delve into many more art forms and techniques including the art of carving limestone and the use of pastels, pencils and charcoal.

Finding her own style and expression of art is something Mary has always aspired to. She is influenced and inspired by nature and she believes that art should always contain a piece of the artist and be completed with love.

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