Art at the Flying Fox

Hello! We are Jane and Kelly, owners of the Flying Fox. We are both creative artists and work in a wide range of media. Prior to moving to the Flying Fox in December 2015 we ran our own small studio in Whanganui called JUST US ART. The first few years at the Fox have been dedicated to renovation and rejuvenation of the tourism side of the business, however creativity has remained part of our lives in the background.

In the last few years Kelly has completed a Diploma in Art and Creativity (honours) via The Learning Connexion. Kelly’s main media or choice is Oamaru stone, bone or wood, all of which he carves. However, he also draws, paints and takes the occasional photograph. Kelly states ” Growing up in New Zealand at the junction of two rivers, much of my childhood was spent in or on the water and in the surrounding bush. This immersion in nature is a theme which has continued throughout my life and has been influential in my art. Growing up next door to Ngapuwaiwaha marae, I was immersed in Maori culture and beliefs from an early age. This encouraged me to use my senses to their full potential and to observe and listen with respect to all that was around me in order to learn. I move with ease between Maori and Pakeha environments and can appreciate both world views. This bi-culturalism is also evident in my art”.

Jane describes herself as ‘creative’ rather than ‘artistic’ and has experimented with many different media over the years. A competent seamstress from an early age, Jane suggests ” I was born a generation too late, I love all those old crafts, many of which involve a needle and thread in some form”. However, photography has also been a passion since she was given her first camera and she completed a Diploma in Professional Photography in 2013. Jane grew up in rural England and, like Kelly, has a strong affinity to nature, having lived rurally most of her life. This has always been a focus for her creative work and, combined with her strong commitment to environmental issues, Jane is keen to work sustainably in all her art. She is often found upcycling something, whether it be furniture or material. She is currently working on developing her skills in eco-printing using plant material to create prints and dyes on natural fabrics which she can then turn into garments. Jane is due to complete her Diploma with the Learning Connexion in February 2022.

We have set up an online store to enable us to share our art with you even if you are unable to visit. Check it out below!

You can see some our past and present work by clicking on the gallery link below. Our work is also on display in our small store on site so be sure to check this out when you visit.

The Flying Fox location contains endless inspiration for art and we love sharing this with others. We have a number of workshops which we run and these can be set up on an ‘on demand’ basis for groups of 2 or more.

We are also currently revamping our JUST US ART studio Facebook page, where we will be sharing our creations and news about workshops, other opportunities at the Fox and local events of interest.